Controlling KML Name and Description values

Cartographica has a pretty sophisticated KML export engine that tries to provide as much data in the KML as possible, while also preserving formatting.    However, there are a couple of pieces of additional input you can give Cartographica to customize your KML output to be as useful as possible.


The name of an object in KML is determined by KML's name attribute, which Cartographica sets by default to be the Feature Name, which is basically the name of the layer and the ID within that layer.   If you have a more proper name, such as the name of a town, in your data set, you can indicate this to Cartographica and it will use that as the KML name when it exports the layer.   

To set the Feature Name for Cartographica (which is also used when the tool tips are turned on over a map):

  1. Select the Layer in the Layer Stack
  2. Bring up the Layer Info window (by choosing Windows > Show Layer Info Window )
  3. Select the Info tab, which shows general information about the layer
  4. Choose a field name from the list provided adjacent to Feature Name


By default, no description is exported to KML by Cartographica, however Google Earth (and Google Maps) will automatically generate a default description based on the data that is always exported.

However, by checking the Popup box in the Layer Info window's Field's tab next to any of the data fields, you can indicate to Cartographica that you want to export those fields as the description. The end result is a short HTML table that contains the name of the field and the field value in columns of a single row.

The steps are:

  1. Select the Layer in the Layer Stack
  2. Bring up the Layer Info window (by choosing Windows > Show Layer Info Window )
  3. Select the Fields tab, which shows general information about the layer
  4. Check the Popup box on the row for every feature you want exported
As with the Name field, this indication also is used to determine which information shows up in the tool tips when they are turned on.

Advanced Tips

You can use any field, including a calculated field, as a Popup field or as the Feature Name.   This means that you can programmatically change what is shown by just adding a calculated field to your layer and choosing that.

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