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KML is an XML format that describes the integration of mixed media into an application like Earth. KMZ is a container file for KML and its media objects. Inside a KMZ file, a 3D model is in the dae format.
KML and KMZ files are easy to create by hand. But of course SketchUp is needed for real 3D modeling.
Export KML/KMZ files from SketchUp from the menus "File > Export > 3D Model" and then choose file type "Google Earth KMZ".
Share models on the 3D Warehouse from the menus "File > 3D Warehouse > Share Model".
An example KMZ file, SID.kmz contains
doc.kml models models/SID.dae images images/texture0.jpg images/texture1.jpg images/texture2.jpg images/texture3.jpg images/texture4.jpg images/texture5.jpg images/texture6.jpg images/texture7.jpg images/texture8.jpg textures.txt
KML for Google Maps Edit
Dynamic Live Data Edit
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <kml xmlns="http://earth.google.com/kml/2.0"> <NetworkLinkControl> <minRefreshPeriod>60</minRefreshPeriod> </NetworkLinkControl> <Document> <name>USGS Real-time Earthquakes</name> ... <NetworkLink> <name>Earthquake Epicenters</name> <open>0</open> <Url> <href>http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/catalogs/eqs7day-age_src.kmz</href> <refreshMode>onInterval</refreshMode> <refreshInterval>300</refreshInterval> </Url> </NetworkLink> ... </Document>
The NetworkLink element references the source of this file (itself).
Incremental updates Edit
The Regions feature allows streaming large datasets for a smooth view. Viewing can begin before the entire file is completely downloaded. Level of detail improves as the streaming download continues.
See this note from KML Support for caveats.