Can a Geography view be exported?

Is there a way to export the KML layer of pushpins from the Geography view?

I created a filter to list just the Cemetery (a custom place type) places enclosed by a county.

Unfortunately, the map service hides the county outline when I zoom in. And it fails to show any township (county subdivisions) outlines at all. So it become hard to orient oneself.

I’ve found the KML polygon data for the county & townships. Then imported those into layers for Google’s “my maps”

But now I need to bring in the Cemetery pushpins. (It’d be nice to export pins as KML files for other purposes too.)

Or maybe there’s a way to use “my maps” as the map service within Gramps?

1 Like

I suppose an alternative would be to use something like MapTiler (or maybe there’s a similar open source tool) to make tiles?

I’d dearly love to use period maps of my home county instead of a modern map. The hand colored outlines of the townships looks much less antiseptic than the KML generated outlines.

or the city when zoomed in that far:

The kml files are all somewhere in your Gramps media directory, so there is no need to “export” them. Rather, within your OS you can find the desired ones (depending on how you’ve named them) and copy them elsewhere.

1 Like

The georeferenced maps in the David Rumsey collection can be downloaded and used in applications.

Choose any map, and then you will see these choices:

Use in GIS apps

ArcGIS , QGIS or web apps can simply use this map with web map services.
WMTS , TileJSON or XYZ tiles are provided for quick access to processed maps.

Export to GeoTIFF

But I don’t know whether or how Gramps might be able use any of those formats as a base map.


I found the KML outline I imported using “add place from KML”. (Which apparently did nothing as it was a polygon instead of a point.)

I found the most current set of cached map tiles.

I also had a few KML files created years ago with another application in with some other media test files. The ‘media’ basepath is currently undefined. (The 3 media test objects have absolute paths rather than relative)

But I have not found a fresh KML file with that list of cemeteries. Maybe it’s cached elsewhere?

Just information …
Maybe someone can add it to the wiki or something …

If you or anybody else should need Historical Maps over Norway, you can find them here:
(Not geo referenced)
Sadly the information is only in Norwegian on this part of the site …

This is the English main page for

There are also a Layer on, that show the old Norwegian AMT maps (-Nordland p.d.) that are geo referenced:!?project=ssr&layers=1005,1014&zoom=5&lat=6968989.15&lon=282264.80&panel=searchOptionsPanel&markerLat=7003971.200000001&markerLon=82323.19999999553&sok=Budadjupet

1 Like

Benny posted a blog entry in 2008 about having written a KML export.

But that feature was how you did mapping before Serge’s GeoView was integrated into Gramps.

Was the KML export code retired?

Oops, I’m sorry, @emyoulation, I realized as soon as I replied that I had misunderstood you. (Of course you would not be asking how to export kml files that you yourself had already imported!) I agree it would be nice if there were a Tool or Utility in Gramps to export selected places as a kml file. Until such a tool or utility is created, it might be possible to use XSLT to transform place object data in the Gramps xml file into a kml file – straightforward but, alas, never simple.

You mentioned that your polygon kml file did nothing when you added it in Gramps. I created one and it shows up in the Geography view like this:


Since there is no pin, I have to zoom in pretty far before it appears on the screen. That’s obviously not very useful. I guess I could also add a place for the centerpoint, so that it gets a pin. Or maybe there’s a way I can add one within the kml file; I don’t know enough about it.

1 Like

There is a Geographic Report that’s been in the alpha stage for more than a dozen years.

It is restricted to a report plotting the Events of the active person. It seems like it has to do a lot of analysis & consolidation that the various modes of the Geography view has already completed. Maybe it could be adapted to a basic export of the current layer?

It isn’t available through the plugin management system and has to be installed manually.

We also have a previous Discourse thread about how to overlay a KML map object. But it never reached the level of clarity needed to improve the manual.

It needs sample KML files such that a user can exactly practice the exercises in the wiki. Without those, reproducing the workflow cannot be tested and oversights can’t be discovered or filled in.

Or even individual buildings, as in these 1888 Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for New Castle.

Yes, it looks like MapTiler Desktop will enable you to do georeferencing and generate tiles.

I don’t know about using Google’s “My Maps”, but you could run MapTiler Server locally, and maybe customize the Gramps Map Services plugin to use your local MapTiler server as a new map service, so that at least in the Places view you can select a place and “Look up with Map Service”.

I imagine it would be a lot harder to customize the Geography view to use your local MapTiler server, although osm-gps-map appears to support custom map sources. But anyway, it wouldn’t be very useful in the Geography view except when you’re zoomed in close enough to make use of your custom tiles.

Looks like QGIS and QGIS Server are alternatives to MapTiler and MapTiler Server.

1 Like

Those maps are wonderful! Thank you for pointing them out.

The GIS coordinator for the next county to the north just set me a link to a KMZ file for all the municipal outline of the entire state. (Technically, it’s one of the 4 US ‘commonwealths’ rather than ‘states’… but that’s besides the point.)

More exploring!

I actually DO asking leading questions sometimes. (It seems like when I post partial description outlining the holes in my knowledge, responses often skip the subject as ‘covered’ rather than filling in the holes.)

But not in this case. I regretfully admit to being very much a GIS dilettante.

There is a resource that I learned of through the mailing lists that you may or may not be aware of (or forgot about).

The Atlas of Historical County (U.S.) Boundaries. It is a great resource for all the county and state creation and changes by date. There are also KMZ files and GIS program files which you may find useful.

1 Like

Yes, I’ve found that site very useful. Other favorites include County Land Ownership Maps (Library of Congress) and Mapire.

1 Like

@StoItHD wrote in the other thread:

You could use a timeline slider, like the one they use in Palladio

This is intriguing because it indicates a standard format for Map positional data that includes a timespan. So this could support exporting events for timeline slider animation.

Yes. I don’t know if Palladio uses KML, but the KML specification includes elements for TimeSpan and TimeStamp, as well as many other things such as FlyTo. So theoretically you could transform a subset of your Gramps database into a KML file and open it in Google Earth or other tools.

I tried a few of the things that I suggested earlier:

Yes, it does. I downloaded the free desktop version and was able to georeference an old map and generate the tiles. The free version has some limitations but it works.

I set that up, too, and was able to create a URL to invoke the server and open my map centered on a specific pair of coordinates and at a specific zoom level. But it does not create a place marker. I guess that’s the job of whatever application program invokes the map server (all I did was to enter the URL in a brower window, just to make sure the server was working).

Well, not quite, since you won’t get a place marker. And I don’t think you can give the MapTiler Server a place description as an alternative to coordinates. So I didn’t attempt this.

If all you want is to georeference a map and then view it overlaid on a regular map, with variable opacity, you can do that in the free version of MapTiler desktop.

I also tried KML imports in Google Maps, Google Earth Web (Chrome browser), and Google Earth Pro (desktop). I could overlay an image (such as an historical map) on a specified geographical area, and vary the opacity of the image, in Google Earth Pro but not in the other two. Here is an example. This reference mentions an extension gx:LatLonQuad for nonrectangular overlays, which also works (in my case, the map was rectangular, but not aligned to the north, so I had to use this version). But doing it in KML is a lot of trial-and-error until you have the coordinates right.

Here is another crazy idea: The KML feature for LineString is supported by Google Earth (both desktop and web) and by Google Maps (without the 3D aspect). This example works in each of those. So, you could create a placemark for each ancestor’s place of birth, and then draw lines to connect each person to his or her parents, resulting in a kind of pedigree map. You could also make a bipartite version in which there are intermediate placemarks for the parents’ place of marriage. It would probably be most useful for families who moved a lot over the generations, but not too far. You can adjust the line width as needed.

Another obvious example would be a chronological path of all the places that a given person ever lived.

More generally, it means you can overlay a graph on a map – the nodes are placemarks, and the edges are linestrings.

@StoltHD, thanks for the link to SAGA, I was not aware of that one. I have downloaded QGIS but not tried it yet.

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.