Available with 3D Analyst license.
Keyhole Markup Language (KML) is an XML-based language for defining the display of three-dimensional spatial data. ArcGlobe supports the display of KML, as well as web-based applications, such as ArcGIS Explorer, Google Earth and Google Maps. KML files have either a .kml or .kmz (for zipped KML files) file extension.
KML files can define feature data or image data. Feature data is embedded within the KML file and can contain attribute information and metadata. Image data can be either embedded within the KML file or referenced by its file location.
ArcGlobe supports the display of a subset of the KML 2.2 specification. KML layers are treated in a similar manner as 3D graphics layers, with the caveat that individual KML elements are read-only. You can view, identify, use HTML pop-up windows for, and toggle the visibility of the elements of a KML layer, but you cannot, for example, interactively change its symbology or geographic location. Also, KML elements are not available for running geoprocessing or analysis tasks. The individual nodes of a KML file are exposed in the KML Contents window, which is accessed from the KML toolbar. Click the KML Contents button to open the window.
KML data is displayed as a single layer in the Draped layers category within the table of contents, regardless of the elements within the data. KML elements that are draped on the surface of the globe will honor their visibility priority within the Draped category. KML elements that are defined as floating will continue to define their own height values separately from the rest of the layer.
Nodes within KML data may contain additional information or metadata inside their description tag. In ArcGIS, the Identify tool can be used to access this information.
For more in-depth information on using KML within ArcGIS, see What is KML? This will lead you to many other topics including essential terms, capabilities and elements associated with KML, and steps for creating and sharing KML, as well as tips and examples when working with KML.
Refreshing dynamic content
Some KML files contain dynamic content that refreshes at defined intervals. For example, there may be weather content that updates every five minutes. Although automatic refreshing of KML content is not supported in ArcGIS, you can manually refresh the KML file at any time by right-clicking the layer and clicking Refresh.
Troubleshooting if your KML does not display
If KML data is not appearing in your ArcGlobe 3D view, check the following:
- Verify that the layer is at the top of the Draped layers category in the table of contents. Click List By Type to ensure the display categories are showing.
- Make sure that the KML file contains one or more elements currently supported for display in ArcGIS.
- Ensure that the KML file references an image that can be accessed from the current machine.
- Verify that the KML file displays correctly in Google Earth. If the content appears as expected, try exporting the KML content again.
Geoprocessing tools for KML
To display your 3D data as KML, there are a few geoprocessing tools in the Conversion toolbox used to convert your features, layers, or complete map document. You can also extract features from a KML or KMZ to add to your display. This can be useful if you want to change anything about the symbology or display properties. Convert features or raster layers into KML using the Layer To KML tool, or convert a map document into a KML file using Map To KML. Alternatively, you can convert a KML or KMZ file into feature classes and a layer file using KML To Layer.
- What is KML?
- How to access the KML tools
- How to add KML data into ArcGlobe
- How to add KML network link data into ArcGlobe
- How to change the visibility of an element within a KML file
- How to zoom to an element within a KML file
- How to view KML node description data
- How to tour the contents of a KML layer
- KML support in ArcGIS Server