My work is finally catching up to the present and buying my group iPads. My group does extensive field work and currently uses giant laptops to run our GIS software, Google Earth being one of the primary pieces of software.

How can I load a KMZ that contains 3 layers of data that is 600kb in size onto my iPad and be able to view it through the GE iPad app?

Does it have to be hosted or can I load it locally on the iPad?

  • 1
    Hi Thanks for the suggestion. > Put your KML/KMZ files on a web server. When you browse to them on the iPad, Safari will ask if you want to open it in Google Earth. I saw this comment elsewhere and have tested this. I tested this with Safari on iPad 1, iPad 2 and iPad 3 and Safari did not offer this option. I tried to open (already public KML files) found on data.gov.au for example: data.gov.au/bye?http://raw.data.gov.au/720/COM_ELB_20090828.kmz They just opened in the browser and there were no options to open in Google Earth from Safari on the iPad? And when you say 'put them on – Bela Oct 29 '12 at 22:08
  • OK, this is what I have done, that does not happen. Do you mind telling me what version of Safari are you running? And to verify, this is from your iPad that you ar opening these right? All Safari does is opens the KML file in the browser as XML code??? – Bela Oct 30 '12 at 1:08

Mapbox seems to be right up your alley! Use iTunes to copy the KML/KMZ or even GeoRSS over to the iPad. Simple as pie and works great.



I asked an iPad whiz, and he said that one possible way is to e-mail yourself the kmz file, have your e-mail client open it, and hope that iOS knows to open Google Earth in opening the attachment. He says that iPad has no "desktop" per se, so it doesn't work as one might expect a Mac or PC to work...


Best way I have found is to use Google MyMaps. From Google Map, click MyMaps(must be signed in to your Google account), and select 'Create a New Map' and 'Import'. You can upload KML/Zs up to 10MB(uncompressed) and then access them from the Google Earth iOS app. You can turn the layers on or off, and zoom to individual features from each layer.

It is possible to open KML/Z attachements from email as Howard Y suggests, but I've only had success with this approach with the simplest of KMLs. On more complex files, such as with network links, many features, etc, Google Earth will open and fail to render anything. Another drawback with this approach is that the KML will not show up in the layer listing, so there is no option to turn it on or off, and managing 3 layers may not be possible.


We found it very useful to load KMZ files to the iPad through the KMZ Loader.

To use it, you email the file to yourself or use dropbox to access the file on the iPad. Then you select it to be opened with KMZ loader, NOT directly with Google Earth.

From inside KMZ loader you can then launch the file with Google Earth. It's weird that Google Earth doesn't do that directly, but this method works.


Put your KML/KMZ files on a web server. When you browse to them on the iPad, Safari will ask if you want to open it in Google Earth.

protected by whuber Oct 30 '12 at 1:11

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