How To: Convert shapefiles to KML


KML is an XML-based format for storing geographic data and associated content. KML files have either a .kml extension, or a .kmz extension for compressed KML files. Refer to the following web help document, What is KML?, for more information about KML.


Instructions provided describe how to convert shapefiles to a KML file.

  1. Start ArcMap.
  2. Click the Geoprocessing tab, and click ArcToolbox to open the ArcToolbox window.
Ensure the shapefile is added to the map before running the tool. The tool automatically detects the file available in the map layer.
  1. In ArcToolbox, scroll down to Conversion Tools and click to expand the toolbox.
Image of the Conversion Tool.
  1. Expand To KML.
Image of the Layer to KML tool.
  1. To open the conversion tool window, double-click Layer To KML for an individual shapefile, or double-click Map To KML for compressed KML files.
  2. Under the Layer drop-down box, select the desired shapefile, or drag and drop the desired shapefile into the box.
    The image of the Shapefile to KML window.
The tool converts the shapefile to KMZ format, which is a compressed version of the KML file. The KML file can be extracted from the KMZ file using a file extractor, for example WinZip or WinRAR.
  1. In Output File, specify the location to store the KMZ file.
  2. Click OK.

Related Information

Last Published: 5/22/2018

Article ID: 000012399

Software: ArcMap 10.3.1, 10.3