Interactive Map Viewer

About Interactive Maps

Interactive Maps visualize geospatial data provided by the author in a GoogleMaps interactive map. The author submits the data as a KML or KMZ file.

Interactive Maps can simply show the research location by a pin on the map, but in more informative ones authors use lines, shaded areas, overlays, multiple pins, mouse hover annotations and other features.

Tip: to see how your KML / KMZ files will appear on ScienceDirect, please use our online verification tool

Benefits for authors and readers

The Interactive Map Viewer allows readers to access the author's geographic data in a familiar and easy way, offering more functionality than regular maps, such as zoom, pan, and show data on mouse over.

Authors making use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can simply re-use KML and KMZ files from these systems without significant reformatting or editing. Checking the file using the verification tool is still highly recommended, as not all features supported by the GIS system will be allowed by our application.

Authors unfamiliar with GIS systems can simply create KML files using one of the many freely available KML editors, for example the one in Google Earth.

Geospatial Data

Author Instructions

Creating Your File

The Interactive Map Viewer works with files in the KML or KMZ format.

Our Interactive Map Viewer makes use of GoogleMaps and thus supports these KML elements. Some notable limitations include:

  • Maximum file size 3 Mb
  • Maximum of 10 network links
  • Maximum of 1000 elements
  • No time-animated elements
  • No 3D models

If you are not familiar with GIS systems, we recommend you use a free KML Editor, for example the one in Google Earth. Please keep the limitations listed above in mind and do check your file before submitting.

If you are familiar with GIS systems, these links may be helpful:

If your GIS system cannot export data in the KML format, Google Earth also lets you import a variety of GIS data formats and save these as KML. The following resources provide more information on converting other file formats to KML:

Please note that Elsevier is not responsible for content on external websites.

Testing your file

    Please always check how your KML or KMZ file will display online before submitting using our verification tool. Reviewers may also use this tool to inspect your file when reviewing your manuscript.


    After verifying that your file will display the way you want, please upload it into the online submission system, together with your article. In Elsevier Editorial System, this is done in the 'supplementary files' section. Please select the option: 'Interactive Map Data (KML or KMZ)' as the submission type.