What is a KML File?

What is a KML file?

A KML file format, also called a Keyhole Markup Language, is an XML file that is optimized for internet-based earth browsers like Google Maps. This file type was developed by Keyhole Inc. The precursor of Google Earth. A KML file contains the data that is needed to draw the map features (point, line or polygon) on the map, but it also contains more information about every attribute. The KML format is used by popular online map browsers like Google Earth and Google Maps.

How to import a KML?

  • Arcgis
  • QGIS
  • Tableau Software
  • Google Maps
  • Excel (3D) Maps
  • Spotzi Mapbuilder


A complete KML dataset is structured like this:

What is a KML file?
  • The first part contains more information about the file;
  • The second part contains the name of the dataset and the names of the column headers of the dataset;
  • The third part contains the title of the dataset;
  • The fourth part contains the placemark tag. This placemark tag contains the data attributes;
  • The fifth part contains the coordinates that are needed to draw a point, line or polygon on the map;
  • The last part contains the closing tags.

Associated filename extensions

  • .kml
  • .xml