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shadows of echoes of memories of songs
Has anybody else noticed that KML in Google Maps doesn't seem to work any more?

e.g. try this: http://maps.google.co.uk/?q=http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~janetmck/oucsmain.kml

For me, this example (very simple KML) shows my pointer, but the map doesn't show -- I just get grey tiles saying "We are sorry, but we don't have imagery at this zoom level for this region. Try zooming out for a broader look." Zooming out doesn't make any difference.

This used to work. We haven't changed anything. I can't find a single KML file on the web which does work in Google Maps. Have Google broken this? Am I going mad?

ETA: In fact, it's not just KML. Any search in Google Maps seems to be broken for me, e.g. searching for 'Oxford' -- it finds it, it shows the pics and so on in the sidebar, it puts a point on the map, but doesn't show any map tiles.

And while doing searches for Oxford I got a sponsored link from Google pointing me to "Oxford Homeopath". Grrrr. More than homeopathic amounts of map data, please, and fewer sponsored links to charlatans.

ETA 2: Really, no amount of zooming out seems to make the map appear for me. :-(

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From: scat0324 Date: January 7th, 2009 05:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I had to click the "-" to zoom out 5 times, but then it did appear to work.
j4 From: j4 Date: January 7th, 2009 05:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
No matter how many times I zoom out, I can't see any map tiles. :-(
aardvark179 From: aardvark179 Date: January 7th, 2009 05:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
It appears to be zoomed in way too far, zoom out a good chunk and you'll see it's in the right place.

What happens if you create a file with two placemarks? Does it show the pair of them or zoom into the first one?
j4 From: j4 Date: January 7th, 2009 05:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
No matter how far I zoom out I can't see any map. :-(

You can't control the initial zoom with KML (at least you couldn't when I last checked) -- it just tries to show all your Placemarks in the viewport (provided there aren't more than 80 of them), so if you only have one point it starts well zoomed-in, if you have several it's more sensible. I've tried a couple of example KML files with loads of points, and I get the same problem.

(I did briefly wonder about the possibility of creating invisible points for a one-point KML file to fake a sensible zoom level, but then I lost the will to live...)

Here's the same example with another point added:

tigerfort From: tigerfort Date: January 7th, 2009 05:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmmm. I've just tried your second example and have the same result as others - it initially comes up with 'no maps at this zoom level', but zooming out a couple of steps restores vision. I'm not sure that this actually helps you at all, but it does suggest that the problem is somewhere in the interaction between you and google, rather than being purely google. What it might actually be, I'm afraid I have no idea.
bopeepsheep From: bopeepsheep Date: January 7th, 2009 05:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
What they said ^ - if you zoom out five or six levels then click to zoom in again it jumps to the closest possible zoom and is fine from there on.

Edit because of weird copypasta.

Edited at 2009-01-07 05:22 pm (UTC)
lnr From: lnr Date: January 7th, 2009 05:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sure I've had that happen to me (with all searches, not just one, and not particularly a KML thing) once, everyone else was seeing it fine at the time too. This comment would be much more useful if I could remember what caused it and how I fixed it.
fivemack From: fivemack Date: January 7th, 2009 06:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Are you logged into your Google/Gmail account? If so try logging out, if not try logging in (that's particularly equivocal, but it does work for me after one zoom-out when I am logged in; ancient Firefox, fairly ancient Linux, no script-blockers)
From: ext_72852 Date: January 7th, 2009 07:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
If you've spent a lot of time looking at google maps it goes into "I thik you are a bot" mode and the solution I have found is to load a plain google map in plain satellite mode (so that the map image square is the "top" image), right click on the square to get the image and open the image, and it will take you to a page where you can fill in a captcha. Your IP will then be good for a bit longer.

(The other solution I use is to connect to a vpn so I'm connecting froma different IP).

covertmusic From: covertmusic Date: January 7th, 2009 11:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Google Maps has been being weird for me lately, too.

I think there's some bug using the combination of Firefox/latest Firebug, but it works OK for me in Safari. There's a bunch of network traffic too, looking at the 'currently loading' text...
sbp From: sbp Date: January 8th, 2009 11:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Searches work for me, but both your examples are grey until I zoom out and then back in again. Opera 9.6 on Mac.
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