How to Convert Google Earth kml to a shapefile

Working with non gis data formats can often add benefits to a GIS project. One of them is that there can be existing data in a consumer format such as Google Earths KML. Using existing data can help you become familiar with the area of the project and also cut down on the amount of field time that it would take to recollect the data. I will show the best way that I have found to import Google Earth KML files into ESRIs shapefile format.

There are a couple of tools out that can help you import kml to shp but the best one that i have found is the Department of Natural Resources of Minnesota DNR Garmin extension. You can download the script at the DNR website. This program can also be used as a stand program if you do not have ESRI ARCgis. Open the kml file by going to the file menu and selecting Load From -> File. On file type drop down select the kml file extension and browse to the file you want to load. An Output Shape dialog box will appear and select between Point, Line, or Polygon depending on the format you want the data displayed as. When the file has successfully loaded you will not want to save it as a shp by going to File -> Save To -> File. In the Save as Type drop down menu you will have two choices of shapefile to save it as. You can save it as a projected or unprojected shapefile. Select the one you want, browse to where you want it saved and name the file. When the process is complete you will have the kml data in a shapefile that you can open in Arcview or many other GIS software packages. Before you bring it into ARCgis remember to define the projection as DNR Garmin does not do it.

Converting KML files to shapefile is only one of the many great features of DNR Garmin, and they are continually updating and improving it. If you work with Garmin GPS receivers in your GIS work flow this utility will help you easily incorporate the data into you regular working environment.[ad#Google Adsense under post links]