I have been searching the web for an example of how to convert and georeference a KML file, but I cannot find anything so I thought I might ask some experts on this forum.

I am new to ArcGIS ArcMap and would like to know if someone can show me the steps to convert a KML file (does not matter what KML file since it is an example) to a shp file and georeference it to California nad 83 zone 2.

  • Use the ArcMap search function to search for KML to Layer and Project tools. You should be to see how it all works when you pull up the tools.
    – ZrSiO4
    Commented May 19, 2018 at 22:31
  • I recommend not thinking about GIS SE as being some sort of online GIS tutor. For your questions to be answered here they should as much as possible describe not just what you want to do, but precisely what you have tried and where you are stuck trying that. A question like this would be fine to ask in the GIS Chat Room, but is too broad for the focused Q&A of the Main site.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented May 20, 2018 at 2:30

1 Answer 1


In ArcMap, you can use the KML to Layer tool, found in Arctoolbox under Conversion to convert the kml into ESRI File Geodatabase format

If the layer doesn't import in the correct location automatically (kml files usually carry this information), you should check the coordinate system of the data in the layer properties>source tab. If this is undefined, use the Define Projection tool to set the layers to your preferred projection.

If it already has a coordinate system defined, you will need to transform each of the layers to NAD83 Z2 instead. First double click on Layers at the top of the Table of Contents pane and set the map to your preferred projection (also set the Transformation if required), then right click on each of your layers and click Data>Export Data. In the dialog that opens, click the option like 'export using the projection of the data frame'.

If there is no georeferencing information at all (unlikely), you'll have to use the Spatial Adjustment toolbar and use it to link your layer to reference points using another dataset as reference.

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