More on the Google Earth API


One should always remember to search the Web before blogging about a topic 😉 As it turns out, Google has in fact already released the Google Earth COM API. The API allows 3rd party applications to remote control GE’s camera view, open KML files, take screenshots, convert (tada!) screen coordinates to geographical coordinates and so on. Google has apparently used the same API for the Picasa geotagging feature.

My C++ development know-how is limited to a few ActiveX controls on Windows Mobile, so I haven’t yet figured out whether it is possible to listen for mouse events. But it might be as easy as registering your application for the appropriate window messages.

Anyways, the COM API is definitely an exciting step in the right direction. Personally, however, I would like to see something that’s easier to handle, and which would potentially appeal to a broader audience – like a KML JavaScript API! But who knows – Google might have this up their sleeve already, anyway. And if not: come on MS, give us a reason to switch to Virtual Earth 3D 😉

UPDATE: Well, it took some time. But finally Google has made my wish come true (more than a year after I wrote this post 😉 )

26 Responses to “More on the Google Earth API”

  1. Com API is very easy to handle out of an environment like the .NET Compact Framework. All you do is import the COM object into VS and it generates a lot of simple-to-understand COM wrappers that you can use straight off. To get started, try automating an Office application like Word. Good luck!

  2. Thanks for the hint! Being an old Java-head, my C# skills are a lot better developed than my C++ skills. Having the GE COM object wrapped in .NET will definitely make things easier for me 🙂

  3. 3 jack

    How can I add ge api in .net?

  4. Jack,

    see Dmitri’s response above for instructions!

    Cheers, Rainer

  5. 5 Dave


    If you are using Windows, you may have to run this before the API classes become available:

    “C:\Program Files\Google\Google Earth\googleearth.exe” /RegServer

    (assuming you installed GE to the default path – change as needed)

    Then you should be able to go to project->add reference (COM tab) and add a reference to the Google Earth 1.0 Type Library. API classes will then be accessible through the EarthLib namespace in your project.

    Hope that helps 🙂


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