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Monday, 22 March 2010

Reading KML Files

On the SRC Alteryx forum this week ashokbhatt asked if Alteryx can read and write KML files (http://srcgroup.extendthereach.com/showthread.php?t=1287).  Co-incidentally I also received an e-mail from a colleague on Friday asking about Alteryx reading GML files.  While the answer to both of these questions is that there is no in-built support for reading or writing these file formats, they are both of course xml documents which can be digested by Alteryx using techniques similar to what I used in part 3 of my posts on RegEx here.


The below module shows how a simple placemark file could be read using Alteryx:





and this one how a simple placemark file could be written:





Obviously these only pick out a very specific section of the kml file, but hopefully will give some ideas of what could be done. 


The difficultly in writing a generic kml reader is that kml is such a rich data format (http://code.google.com/apis/kml/documentation/kmlreference.html) that some of the data stored in it would have little meaning in Alteryx.