I cross posted this in the Google Earth forum but they changed the format there and I'm not sure I like the format.

In my dataset I sometimes have multiple locations at a single point.

GE will represent this as a single dot until you click on the dot and then you get a scattering of all the points at that location.

Is there anyway to script into the KML a sizing on the initial dot viewed to represent how many dots are on that location? (ex. 1-3 small dot, 4-6 med dot, 7-9 large dot)?



Create Proportional Symbols for the number of dots. You need to do some modification to suit your needs.

enter image description here

Use the Thematic Mapping API


  • I will check this out...so, in theory, the large dot, when clicked, would scatter out to it's appropriate number of individual dots? – Nif Jun 30 '11 at 19:22
  • Not sure if this fits the bill - this seems that it would require a piece of information, a "count" field, to read in order to know the number of dots at a location. These are all individual locations with different information for each point. – Nif Jun 30 '11 at 19:28

If you control the output of the KML then you should run some clustering and detect such overlaps and cluster (group) the icons together and assign an appropriate style (e.g. style_cluster_6 vs style_cluster_15) based on number of overlapping icons. Then the detail on each placemark could list out all of the items that have been grouped together. Otherwise I think you're looking at writing a GE extension.

Note that you may want to cluster things even if they aren't right on top of each but close enough either by a real distance or pixel distance at certain zoom level.

  • Hi Vadim - what do you mean by "run some clustering"? Google Earth is already determining the clustering and grouping and I just want to work off of that. I'm not a programmer (and believe me I've tried over the years) so I'm looking for something within the scripting constraints of KML. – Nif Jul 1 '11 at 13:58
  • I see, so you're already working with a KML file and you're just trying to improve how it looks. I don't believe there's a way (setting or code) in KML to tell "hey, google earth, when you see X overlapping icons, can you please put a big fat circle in their place". What I was talking about is when the data is extracted from database (for example) to form that KML file it could be clustered to produce a meta-point that represents multiple points. – Vadim Jul 1 '11 at 15:15
  • Vadim - yes, I'm mostly trying to improve the look. I think writing something to do what is essentially zoom levels for points is beyond my abilities. Thanks for the suggestions. – Nif Jul 1 '11 at 17:30

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