I am trying to use the map to kml conversion tool in a python script. The mxd I provide as input, contains data coming from map service layers. I have no security enabled to that particular layers. I also try to run the specific tool in ArcMap providing mxds that contain layers coming from a map service but I get the same error:

Unable to open MXD - The document contains secure (password-protected) layers.

If I run the same tool with an mxd that contains data coming from a local geodatabase, but not from a published service, it works properly.

Can anybody tell me why the map to kml tool does not work with map service layers?

1 Answer 1


The tool doesn't support map services. A map service does not serve the actual data, it serves image exports of the data. The tool converts features into KML. These two ideas don't mesh.

I did a quick test: I didn't get that error (not sure how/why you're getting the error), but it did put "something" inside the output KML. I have a mapservice of the entire United States. The tool got a snapshot of Alaska and put that in. However, this was just a snapshot, not the entire dataset, nor a link to the mapservice.

ArcGIS Server has a KML capability. If you have to consume a mapservice through KML, the workflow would be to enable KML on that service and consume that KML endpoint.

  • I have thought of using the KML capability. However it does not help in the case you have placed the graphics on the map as graphics generated from a featureSet.
    – Smalis
    Mar 17, 2015 at 15:27
  • Also, I would be grateful if you could provide a rough description of your testing implementation, in case I get any ideas . THanks
    – Smalis
    Mar 17, 2015 at 15:29
  • I added a map service from an AGS connection I made to here: sampleserver6.arcgisonline.com/arcgis/services , saved the MXD and ran the tool.
    – KHibma
    Mar 17, 2015 at 15:55

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