Best practice for creating KML files for the addition of areas?

I’m trying to add some of Hungary’s national parks as new places, but I bump into errors. In OSM ( I can find and download the correct polygon KML (initially an XML) file, for example However, when I try to add the KML as a new place at iNat, I get error messages pointing to missing data or inappropriate format.

In this forum post I see some instructions to follow that require installing a piece of software, but since I’m in Chrome, I’m looking for a browser-based solution.

This Tutorial contains some links about getting kml boundaries for places. I wish you good luck!

are you using a chromebook type stripped down laptop?

I think a browser-based solution for this is going to be a serious challenge to come by. I’ve personally only added one “place” to iNat and my challenges were quite different from the ones you’re having now. ime, addressing these kinds of challenges often requires the sort of flexibility you get from a full computer OS (and sometimes specifically Windows, as a lot of geospatial software is Windows-only). There are some Linux-based solutions, and fewer Mac-based options.

What are the specific error messages you’re getting from iNat when you try to add a place? Is it possible for you to open the kml file as a simple text file to find what the error messages are referring to?

How are you converting the XML file to KML? On your example page, the “Download XML” link at the bottom of the page returns a file that has no boundary data, just references to 5 “member” segments that would need to be downloaded and combined, then reformatted into KML format. Did you use a web tool for that conversion?

Google My Maps can be used to make a polygon from scratch and export as KML.

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If it’s a custom area the easiest way to to download Google Earth Pro (free), draw the boundary in that, and save it as a KML, which you can then do whatever you want with.

If it’s an established area (eg, townships, parks, etc) you can often find KMLs already made and simply use those.

For established areas it’s more common to find Shapefiles than KMLS, but again here Google Earth Pro is useful as you can open Shapefiles directly in it, then save them as KMLs.

Regarding National Parks and Protected Areas of Europe - check this link:

Nationally designated areas (CDDA)

The European inventory of nationally designated protected areas holds information about designated areas and their designation types, which directly or indirectly create protected areas. This is version 20 and covers data reported until May 2022

If you need some help I can probably find a bit of time to isolate and convert the files. I’m a bit limited on time at the moment as I’m getting ready for vacation, but I have a little bit of time today, but then won’t have nay for a week or two after that.

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this would be the web-based way to do what is described in the post that you referenced above: hopefully it’s relatively straightforward. if you have questions, feel free to ask.

UPDATE: i forgot to mention that you should check to make sure the place you intend to add doesn’t already exist in iNat. in the case of the park that you referenced in your original post, it looks like there’s already a version of the place in iNat:

just a guess, but if you export directly from OSM (without doing some transformations via the Overpass API), you’re often exporting points or lines or some combination of features, rather than a polygon. so if you try to import non-polygon features into iNat, iNat won’t like that.

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I use to create KML files and it works great (in the browser). However, I believe the maps are confined to some portion of North America.

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And if Caltopo is limited, try SARtopo. Same folks but a more general scope. Base maps may be limited but kml creating functions should work.

I simply renamed the file to XML, but it’s now obvious that it doesn’t work. Any hint for the conversion steps would be helpful.

It looked promising, but I would like to export existing areas’ (e.g. national parks) polygons, rather than creating new polygons.

see my earlier post.

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