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April 13, 2007

Switch from Google Maps to Google Earth

Oftentimes I find something interesting in Google Maps and want to see it more detailed in Google Earth. You could try to repeat the search in Google Earth, but that's not the best idea.

To move to the same location click on "Link to this page", go to the address bar and copy the value of the ll parameter from a Google Maps address. Then type the value in Google Earth's search box. Here's an example:,+France&layer=&om=1&

If you want to save some clicks, after clicking "Link to this page", add "&output=kml" at the end of the URL and hit Enter. A dialog will ask you to open or save a KML file. Choose to open the file in Google Earth.

There's even a bookmarklet that automates the process. Bookmark this link or drag it to your bookmarks toolbar. Next time you want to switch to Google Earth, just click on the bookmarklet.


  1. Using the javascript code from the bookmarklet posted here, I made a Greasemonkey script that adds a nice link to the Google Maps interface.
    Check it out!

  2. ... or even faster you can suffix the Google Maps URL with "&output=kml" and you will get a KML file which Earth will load up.

  3. Oh, sorry ... you already said that in your post. My bad for not reading the entire thing.

  4. I would like someone to be able to go automatically from google maps to google earth, but when I follow your instructions, I get a "Your search returned no results" message. I just tried placing one marker on google maps, then copying the ll parameter, then pasting it in google maps search bar before I get this message. Any clues as to what I'm doing wrong?

  5. Isn't possible for Google to create links to KML-files instead of letting users "hack" their browsers?

  6. Google actually has links for Google Earth files, but it doesn't display them. Just append &output=kml to any Google Maps permalink.


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