Placemarks

National Monument record search files to Google Earth KML

This is a very useful hack. The National Monument Record office department of English Heritage can search for aerial photographs. They return searches as Excel files with the location of each photo as an OS grid reference (e.g. TL 483 607), the scale and size of the image, and its reference numbers..

This Perl program reads the Excel file and creates a Google Earth KML (layer) file of pushpins for each photo. Loading that into GE shows you each photo on the map and you can "point at" the photos to get the associated date, reference numbers etc.

For me that wasn't very helpful, so I wrote a perl script that parses the Excel file and creates a Google Earth KML (layer) file containing most of the information; I can then see and "point at" the photos I'm interested in to get the associated date, reference etc..

To make use of it, you'll need perl plus various additional CPAN libraries:

 Geo::GoogleEarth::Document
 Geo::Coordinates::OSGB
 Spreadsheet::ParseExcel
 Getopt::Long
 Date::Calc

The CPAN shell is veru helpful when installing perl modules (try "perl -MCPAN -e shell"). I have only used the program on Linux; it may behave under ActiveState's Perl, but I haven't tried.

I'd be interested to hear if anyone knows how to render an area - e.g. a circle - in Google Earth as well as the pushpin, so that it's easy to see roughly what the area of the photo is. I haven't discovered this yet though I do include the area info in the descriptions.

I have been invoking the program in a "bash" shell as follows:


for f in *.xls ; do
echo $f ;
perl -I ~/placemarks/ ~/placemarks/placemarks.pl --xls "$f"  \
  --mindate '1 jan 1945' --kml "$(basename "$f" .xls).kml" ;
done

The options include:

  • --xls specify the name of the input Excel file (required)
  • --kml specify the name of the output file (required)
  • --mindate the date before which photos should be excluded (optional)
  • --maxdate the date after which photos should be excluded (optional)
  • --verbose be chattier about what is happening
Attachment Size
placemarks.zip 5.09 KB
License
Public Domain