Continue in the app
Be The First To Get Support Updates
Want to know about the latest technical content and software updates?

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 ArcMap: What is KML? for more information.


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

  1. Start ArcMap and add the desired shapefile to the map.
  2. Click the Geoprocessing tab, and click ArcToolbox to open the ArcToolbox window.
Selecting ArcToolbox from the Geoprocessing tab
  1. In ArcToolbox, expand the Conversion Tools toolbox.
Expanding Conversion Tools in the Arc Toolbox window.
  1. Expand To KML. Double-click Layer To KML to convert an individual shapefile, or double-click Map To KML for compressed KML files.
Expanding the To KML tool in the Arc Toolbox window.
  1. For Layer, select the desired shapefile in the drop-down menu, or drag and drop the desired shapefile into the drop-down menu.
Selecting the desired shapefile to be converted in the Layer drop-down box in the Shapefile to KML window.
The tool converts the shapefile layer 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. For Output File, specify the location to store the KMZ file.
  2. Click OK.

Related Information

Last Published: 3/3/2022

Article ID: 000012399

Software: ArcGIS for Desktop Advanced 10.3, 10.2.2, 10.2.1, 10.2, 10.1 ArcGIS for Desktop Basic 10.3, 10.2.2, 10.2.1, 10.2, 10.1 ArcGIS for Desktop Standard 10.3, 10.2.2, 10.2.1, 10.2, 10.1