How to display an ArcGIS legend in kmz or kml file?

I am trying to do so in conversion tool of ArcGIS but while exporting it to Google Earth it is not showing the legend.


You do not specify which ArcGIS for Desktop tool or version you tried to use to do the conversion.

However, legend creation is discussed in the help page entitled Creating KML in ArcGIS for Desktop where it says:

A legend is the only screen overlay that you can include in your KML created in ArcGIS for Desktop. Legends added in the map document layout view will be included as a KML screen overlay and a button folder that allows you to change where the legend will be displayed on the screen. Legend overlays will only be included in the KML when using the Map To KML tool.

If you are not using the Map To KML tool, then I recommend trying that.

I tested it just now using ArcGIS 10.2.2 for Desktop and it worked.

I just re-tested this at ArcGIS 10.4.1 for Desktop and, as expected, it still works. One thing to be careful of is that although Google Earth turns on the Legend item, it defaults the position that you want to see it to be None. To see the legend you must change that radio button to the position you want the legend displayed in (see red "arrow" in the picture below).

enter image description here

For interest I tried opening the same *.kmz in ArcGIS Earth, and with respect to the legend inside it, that behaved identically to Google Earth.

enter image description here


If you modify inserted legend in layout view, (convert to graphics), this is a reason not to display map legend in google earth!


Not sure if anyone else has had the same issue, but when converting map to kml (to include a legend), the legend doesn't actually fully convert. I was able to get the color patches, but not the descriptions. enter image description here

So, I added a placemark where I wanted the legend to appear in Google Earth, added a png of the legend grabbed from ArcMap, using the "Add Custom Icon" button of the Legend. I increased the size, moved the point into my data folder, and voila, there it is. enter image description here

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.