October 3, 2018

Export to KML

Allows exporting selected vector or raster datasets from ArcGIS to KML/KMZ files.

  Available in XTools Pro for ArcMap and for ArcGIS Pro

KML format can be used to share places and or some of your map data with other non-ArcGIS users, as the required data is displayed in Google Earth or Google Maps. 

The XTools Pro “Export to KML” tool allows exporting multiple selected vector or raster datasets from ArcGIS to KML/KMZ files, that can be further used with Google Earth, Google Maps and other desktop or mobile applications and online services. 

Selecting input and output data

By default the layers selected in the TOC window will appear in the input feature layer field. At that, any other layer from the TOC or any dataset from the disk can be selected.

Default output KML/KMZ file will be automatically suggested for the output file, this can be changed to any other appropriate file and folder on the disk.

Selecting field for labels

If you wish to have point features in the exported KML file labeled, select the required attribute field (otherwise do not select any field). This option is available for single input layer only.

Creating folders

There is an option provided for creating folders in the output KML files. Classifying input features by a field and creating corresponding folders allows you to have separate folders for each different type of symbology. For example, as it is given on the screenshot above, you can color code cities by the state (or county) field, and as a result, you will be able to turn on and off whole different states (or counties) in Google Earth application. Leave this field empty if you don't need folders in the output KML file.

If you export multiple input layers, the folder in the output KML file for each of them will be created.

Selecting extraction boundaries

A portion of the input layers features can be exported to KML file. It is possible to limit this portion specifying the required extraction boundaries. The boundaries can be defined in the following ways: 

  • By selected extent
  • By selected graphics on map
  • By selected features in a polygon layer.

For raster layers the current extent or selected graphics can be used as extraction boundaries.

Specifying extrusion options

The “Extrusion” option is provided for creating pseudo 3D features in KML file. Exported features can be extruded based on the selected numeric attribute field values or specified value. At that, altitude mode can be used as “Absolute”, set as “Relative to Ground” or “Clamped to Ground”:

  • Clamped to Ground - default altitude mode for elements when other is not specified and when no altitude is provided in the tag.
  • Relative to Ground - altitude of the element relative to the actual ground elevation of a particular location. If the ground elevation of a location is exactly at sea level, and the altitude for a point is set to 9 meters, then the placemark elevation is 9 meters with this mode. However, if the same placemark is set over a location where the ground elevation is 10 meters above sea level, the elevation of the placemark is then 19 meters.
  • Absolute - altitude of the element exactly above sea level, regardless of the actual elevation of the terrain beneath the element. For example, if you set the altitude of a placemark to 10 meters with an absolute altitude mode, the placemark will appear to be at ground level if the terrain beneath is also 10 meters above sea level. If the terrain is 5 meters above sea level, the placemark will appear elevated above the terrain by 5 meters.

Altitude units can be meters or feet.

  • 3D view extrusion - extrudes features as pseudo 3D objects.


Video Tutorial

In this video you will see a practical example of using the XTools Pro “Export Data to KML” tool.

Exporting a part of buildings of University of California campus in Los Angeles, with labels and in 3D, from ArcGIS to KML format is used to demonstrate the tool functionality.