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We are working with the local Police department on an iOS and Android app which will have an embedded Google map showing crime data from the past month.

This map is generated via a .KMZ file exported from ArcGIS.

We created a set of custom .EMF icons for this map and the Crime Analyst at the Police Department imported them fine, but they are extremely small in the KMZ layer that gets added to the Google map.

It looks like the icons get saved to the .KMZ file as 16x16 .PNGs.

When the Crime Analyst increases the size of the icons in ArcGIS, it makes them pixelated and blurry.

I've also tried unarchiving the .KMZ file and inserting larger versions of the custom symbols into the folder and then zipping it up and converting it to a .KMZ file, but then the Google Map wouldn't display any of the custom symbols.

Is there a simple way to retain the original size of the imported custom icons or to increase their size without pixelating them?

We have the custom icons as .SVG, .PNG, .EMF, and as a custom icon font. Is it possible to use either the .SVG or the icon font as a custom marker in ArcGIS so that scaling will not be an issue?

Let me know if you need more information or to see some of the files. I don't know much about the Arc suite of software and am just the app developer, but I can get information from the Crime Analyst.

EDIT: Here are the answers to your questions.

  • What tool are you using to export the kmz? - In arctoolbox, conversion tools, "layer to kml" tool

  • What is the projection of your map document? - NAD_1983_StatePlane_South_Carolina_FIPS_3900_Feet Lambert_Conformal_Conic

  • What is the unit of the projection? - Feet

  • Imported them into what? - Select a generic symbol. Edit symbol in Symbol Property Editor. Symbol Type is Picture Marker Symbol. Then select the .EMF file.

  • what tool are you using to export the kmz? What is the projection of your map document? what is the unit of the projection? imported them into what? – Brad Nesom Oct 7 '13 at 16:56
  • I'm getting answers to your questions and will update the question when I receive them. Thank you for letting me know what else you need to know. – Eric Allen Oct 7 '13 at 17:47
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    If you're using 10.1 or 10.2, the size of the icon inside the KMZ is dependent on the size of the icon as it appeared in ArcMap. I dont know the scale factor, but a quick test with of 12pt in AM = 24x24 and 48pt = 96x96. Its a "what you see is what you get" from AM to the result KMZ. – KHibma Oct 7 '13 at 21:25
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    So, is there an easy way to increase the size of the icon in ArcMap without it pixelating? The .EMF files that are being imported are 128x128, but they are tiny in ArcMap. I think the Crime Analyst was using a "scale" slider to increase the size, but they all rendered with extreme pixelation, like it was taking the 16x16 and just blowing it up instead of scaling the 128x128 down to the size we needed. – Eric Allen Oct 8 '13 at 5:03
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    @allenericr Yeah, in GE you can change the size of the icon there with a slider, but it'll get pixelated like you said. I'd have bigger icons than needed in ArcMap so when you export you can scale down in GE if needed. Click the symbol in ArcMap's ToC and increase the SIZE. Then export to KMZ. – KHibma Oct 8 '13 at 13:12
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To expand on my comment above - In 10.1/10.2 the export to KMZ tools as very "what you see is what you get". That is, what you see inside ArcMap is how the output KML should look. This is the reason you need either a layer from ArcMap or a LYR file for the Layer to KML tool (opposed to just features).

For points, the symbology you have inside ArcMap gets exported as a .PNG for each layer and bundled with the KMZ. A quick test shows that whatever you "point" size is, gets doubled for the resulting PNGs. You may have to do a couple test exports untill you get the icons looking exactly as you want them. A quick test on exporting shows the point size in ArcMap vs. image dimensions on disk: enter image description here

The help topic on creating KML in ArcMap is here.

  • I'm waiting on a new KMZ file generated using the information you provided. If everything is good with it, I'll accept your answer. Don't want anyone to think I've forgotten about accepting answers. – Eric Allen Oct 9 '13 at 14:45
  • He generated a new KMZ export with the icons set to a point size of 20 and they were still 16x16 and pixelated when the layer was pulled into the Google Map. However, when he viewed the data in Google Earth it displayed the icons at the correct size and without any pixelation. Could this be some rendering weirdness with Google Maps? I'm sorry if I'm not providing the most useful information here, GIS is way out of my depth. Thank you for your attempts to assist me. – Eric Allen Oct 17 '13 at 23:15
  • Well, with a combination of your information and some other bits, we've managed to get the icons marginally less pixelated and not too tiny to see. Thanks for the assistance. – Eric Allen Nov 2 '13 at 22:08

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