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I have come across several scripts and tools to import and export KML into ArcGIS Desktop.

Is there a one tool that:

  • Imports/Exports KML into ArcGIS Desktop at v10
  • Does not cost money
  • Ideally maintains attributes between the packages
  • Ideally does not require additional software to be installed

I would also like to be recommended tools that people have had 1st hand experience with. ArcScripts, Google, and the blogs I read all talk about a number of methods, but would like to identify a recommended one.

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bonjour je ne sais pas vraiment écrir en anglais mais je sais lire en anglais si vous voulez me répondre en anglais s'il vous plait aider moi à faire un script de creation des ilots à partir des point et des ligne (polylines) merci -- google translation: hello I do not know write in English but I can read in English if you want to answer me in English please help me to script creation of islands from the point and line (polylines) thank you –  user5081 Dec 8 '11 at 5:23
Je parle un peu français, mais je ne comprends pas la phrase "ilots A PARTIR des points et des ligne». Si vous pouviez expliquer en anglais ce serait génial. Votre question n'est pas claire. Voulez-vous créer des points d'une polyligne? Vous devriez commencer votre propre question. Au revoir –  Baskinomics Dec 8 '11 at 5:31
Salut @sabrina I think you should ask a new question by itself. Click on the Ask Question button at the top of this page. Also, it might be best to use google translate or similar when you ask your question so that as many people as possible can help you –  djq Dec 8 '11 at 6:55

2 Answers 2

up vote 11 down vote accepted

A "Clear Winner" is too subjective of a question. Since you indicated cost as a criteria, here are some free (or built-in) options:

KMLToLayer tool is available in ArcGIS 10 which puts the data straight into a file geodatabase.

KMLToLayer_conversion (in_kml_file, output_folder, {output_data})

Your question is closely aligned with this one: How can I convert KML to ESRI's shapefile format? which has options that get you to shapefile: ogr2ogr How can I convert KML to ESRI's shapefile format?

ET GeoWizards: How can I convert KML to ESRI's shapefile format?

And there are others (go to How can I convert KML to ESRI's shapefile format? and +1 the good answers).

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Thanks Jay Have revised Q. Will check your links and reports back –  Simon Apr 5 '11 at 10:27

Arc2Earth has a good KML importer and the free version allows you to import up to 100 placemarks at a time. The Pro version has unlimited placemark imports, GroundOverlay to image/world file and KML Description Schema parser so you can import attribute values that may be hidden or buried in complex description text. Also, if your Placemarks have unique IDs, the importer will update existing features instead of creating new ones (making it a decent tool for round-tripping data between ArcMap and GE)


cheers brian

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While I do use the ArcPy importer, I have to agree with Brian here. If you really want to work with KML/KMZ and ArcGIS, invest in tools that really get it done. –  James Fee Apr 5 '11 at 16:10

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