Answering this question: How do I import/export KML to ArcGIS Desktop? raised another one. There are loads of tools to import/export kml/kmz. Are there tools available for native viewing of KML in ArcMap?

I'm curious if anyone has built a custom featurelayer(s) that reads kml, similar to the way ZigGIS uses PostGIS as a data source.

Or maybe something like inmemoryworkspacefactory, which probably doesn't count as native, but would have some advantages: http://geobabble.wordpress.com/2007/07/10/consuming-georss-in-arcmap-with-inmemoryworkspacefactory/

  • 1
    Interoperability Extension will read KML/KMZ natively - esri.com/software/arcgis/extensions/datainteroperability/… (it is basically FME in ESRI clothing) - at extra cost of course - ESRI should make it standard with the software.
    – Mapperz
    Apr 5, 2011 at 13:14
  • Export to yes. Import from or view no. Unless you use the $4,500 CAD extension mentioned by Mapperz. Apr 5, 2011 at 14:41
  • You can view the KML inside ArcGlobe without translation (yes I know, not ArcMap). ArcGlobe has a KML toolbar to load the KML. At 10, 10.1 and onwards KML is supported in ArcMap trough conversion to features (no native rendering of the KML). Possibly in the future there will be native support, but its not on the radar at this time.
    – KHibma
    Apr 5, 2011 at 17:55
  • @Mapperz: shouldn't your comment be an answer? It's the only one that actually answers the question. May 23, 2011 at 23:03
  • done comment to answer.
    – Mapperz
    May 23, 2011 at 23:34

5 Answers 5


Interoperability Extension will read KML/KMZ natively - http://www.esri.com/software/arcgis/extensions/datainteroperability/index.html (it is basically FME in ESRI clothing) - at extra cost of course - ESRI should make it standard with the software.


Most KML/KMZ readers store the features in the Geodatabase for viewing. Arc2Earth seems to be the best way to read and write KML/KMZ so I'm not sure there is much of a problem converting back and forth.


This is an old post. pretty easy import as follows: arcmap 10.x > arc toolbox > conversion tools > from kml > kml to layer. drill down to the kml file. specify the output file and it will magically appear in your map as an editable layer.


Check out AmigoCloud's GDAL/OGR Plugin for ArcGIS, written by @Ragi Yaser Burhum.

To quote their product release post:

Clearly you have been using GDAL/OGR to manipulate several vector formats through the command line. Spatialite, Google Fusion Tables, KMLs, PostGIS are easily available. But what if you want to use any of those formats in ArcGIS? Fear not, you can use AmigoCloud’s OGR Plugin for ArcGIS. It is free and Open Source and it just happens that I added a few new features that will make it easier to use. You can use the Add data button to load data from either a file, or an OGR connection string. Adding data from Spatialite, KML/KMZs or Google Fusion tables was never this easy.


If you don't mind doing some coding you could write a Plug-In Datasource against KML.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.