shrug-l: FWD: ArcGIS and Google Earth KML script

Pence, Patrick PenceP at
Thu Mar 22 15:38:55 EDT 2007

This came through on the CrimeMap listserver this morning and may be of interest to SHRUGgies.  It may already be common knowledge, but worth checking out.


Patrick Pence
GIS Coordinator - Public Safety
Information Systems Services
City of Tallahassee
voice: (850) 891-4941
fax: (850) 891-4204
pencep at 


If you or people you hang out with are users of Google Earth AND ArcGIS, you
might be interested in this.  Otherwise, delete me.  

A few months ago, I found a very slick ArcGIS extension at ESRI's ArcScripts
site.  The extension is "Export to .kml."  Basically, it lets you quickly
export any layer from an ArcMap project in Keyhole markup language, the file
format used by Google Earth.  You can specify the label and display fields,
and if you've got a URL in one of these, it's great.  A process that would
have required some significant head-scratching is now a breeze, and takes
just moments.  The extension is free, no nags, timeouts, nothing--courtesy
of the City of Portland Planning Bureau.  

Here's the beauty of this:  A .kml file of something like "Church burglaries
so far this year" is small, and eminently emailable (hey, I've invented a
word!). A recipient who has Google Earth installed on their computer, double
clicks the file, and very neat things happen.  Click the symbol, and more
good stuff occurs.  This all takes place in the free Google Earth
application that more and more non-GIS people are playing around with.

The analytic power of this is nil, as far as I can determine, but it has a
certain je ne sais quoi.  The wow factor during a presentation is worth the
price of admission--which is, of course, free.  If you have Google Earth on
your PC, and would like to see an example of what I'm rambling about, email
me off list.  If you want to download the extension for ArcGIS, either go to
ESRI's ArcScripts page, or just Google "export to .kml."  

Tom Casady
Chief of Police
Lincoln Police Department
575 S. 10th Street
Lincoln, NE 68508
mailto:tcasady at 

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