I only have an ArcView 9.3 license at work. What's the best way to convert a large KML file to SHP format?

I tried the DNRGarmin tool to import, but the file was too large for that particular program.

I've also tried XTools and received an error right as the process was starting.

Does anyone have a reliable method?

4 Answers 4


You could look at using some open source options. QGIS is a great source, but if you do not want to have a second GIS application, I would look at using OGR. You can look for OGRGUI, or download the suite of GDAL tools (OSGeo4W).

  • QGIS did the trick! Thanks so much. It was painless and I did not receive the XSI Undeclared error that I've been getting with other methods.
    – Ryan
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 18:06
  • Glad to hear it worked! Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 18:15
  • My problem now is the following: Using Google Earth I saved the KMZ as a KML, and now it appears that the attributes used to color code the shapefiles are missing (shapefiles are present but the tabular data are all the same, so there is no differentiation between polygonal areas). The file is at the following address for anyone interested... rampp-team.com/documents/pennsylvania/watershed/…
    – Ryan
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 18:22
  • @Ryan I think you should research/ask this supplementary question separately rather than in a Comment.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 19:44
  • @Poly... Thanks, I will do just that. I'm a newbie on here so thanks for being gentle!
    – Ryan
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 19:46

Give GDAL/OGR a try - open source - ogr2ogr:

ogr2ogr -f 'ESRI Shapefile' output.shp input.kml

There is an ArcView script here which may be helpful: http://arcscripts.esri.com/details.asp?dbid=15603


Try to use KML to Layer and export as shp file.

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