I have a really basic newbie question. I have following data with me:

  • Esri Shapefiles (.shp, .shx, .dbf, .prj, .sbn and .sbx)
  • KML/KMZ files

Are Esri Shapefiles and KML files two different ways of representing data? I am suspecting that the data provider has given me the same data in two formats: Shapefiles and KML files.

Is there a way I can verify that both of them are representing same data and that there is no loss of information when using one over the other?

  • 1
    Welcome to GIS.SE! It's best to stick to 1 question per post. Also, you've tagged your questions with arcgis and python, yet I don't see you mention it in your question.
    – Paul
    Jun 26, 2014 at 20:23
  • To try and get your Question re-opened, I recommend that you perform an edit on it which removes all but the background and Query 1 at the top. That may need some further tweaking but will get you most of the way there. With your Question focussed this way, and likely to be quickly answered you can then decide whether you still need to research/ask the other question(s) separately.
    – PolyGeo
    Jun 26, 2014 at 21:23
  • Thanks PolyGeo, I will limit this post to just query 1. For query 2, I will make another post. Jun 26, 2014 at 21:27
  • Can someone please remove the hold now ? :-( Jun 26, 2014 at 21:39
  • It takes five votes by most users (or one by one of the five moderators) to re-open a Question. I am happy to cast one of the former but will do a quick bit of editing on it first. Each Question should be standalone so I removed your link to your other Question that really appears to be quite separate.
    – PolyGeo
    Jun 26, 2014 at 22:10

1 Answer 1


If you do not have a GIS Package yet, QGis is an excellent and free Application that will let you load up all your files and overlay them on top of each other so you can see exactly what is in them.

KML and Shapfiles could contain the exact same data, however KML is much more suited to displaying time based track information, whereas shapefiles are more suited to displaying Geometries, like boundaries, areas, roads, etc.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.