how to convert kml to a note using the SDK

05-13-2015 09:32 AM
Occasional Contributor

I'm trying to convert a kml layer to a note using the ArcGIS Explorer Desktop SDK. I know that AGX can do this because if you right click on a kml layer in the application itself you get the option to save or share it as a note. But I can't see anywhere in the SDK how to do this programmatically. Any ideas? Thanks!


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New Contributor III

Hey Ellen,

I'm pretty sure you have to do this in a few steps, simply because a kml layer can contain any number of different geometry types.

Best way to do it would be to create a mapitemcollection using the KmlLayer.Descendants method, which should grab all mapitems in child kml layers as well. Note, all of these items will be KmlNode objects

Then iterate through that list, creating clones of each mapitem that is a graphics type of kml node. (You may want to do overlay as well as graphics nodes)

Note that you will probably have to get the node as a mapitem to actually convert to a note? I'm a little unsure.

ESRI.ArcGISExplorer.Mapping.KmlLayer lyr = new ESRI.ArcGISExplorer.Mapping.KmlLayer

ESRI.ArcGISExplorer.Mapping.MapItemCollection kmlitems = lyr.Descendants

foreach (KmlNode node in kmlitems)


     if (node.Type == KmlNodeType.Graphics) //if it is we can likely turn it into a note)


          switch (node.GraphicsType)


               case kmlGraphicsType.Icon:

                    //make a point note


               case KmlGraphicsType.Path:

                    //make a line note


               case KmlGraphicsType.Polygon:

                    //make a polygon note







I'm just guessing on the code above, but hopefully it gives you a place to start.


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Occasional Contributor

Hi Norm

thanks very much for the ideas. I was able to do a lot with the code you supplied. In particular the Descendents was very helpful and I didn't know about that before.

I'm still having trouble though. I don't seem to be able to clone the kml node into a map item. I get the message "esri.arcgisexplorer.mapping.kmlnode.createfromxmlstring not found. I know the clone is causing it as I've got error messages before and after. Any thoughts?

Here's the code I've got so far. (I had to create VBA from what I think was c#.)

    'the following assumes that you have a kml item as the first item in the map
    Dim kml As KmlLayer = mapDisplay.Map.ChildItems.GetFirst'

    'create a collection of kmlNodes I can work through
    Dim kmlNodes As System.Collections.Generic.IEnumerable(Of MapItem) = Nothing
    kmlNodes = kml.Descendants

    Dim indItem As KmlNode
    Dim kmlType As KmlNodeType
    For Each indItem In kmlNodes
        kmlType = indItem.GraphicsType()
        Select Case (kmlType)

            Case KmlGraphicsType.Icon
                MsgBox("at the kml graphics type equal to icon")
                'i get the above message.
                Dim mapItem As MapItem = indItem.Clone
                'I don't get the following message. Line above bombs.
                MsgBox("here's the cloned map item " & mapItem.Name)
            Case (KmlGraphicsType.Path)
                'its a path

            Case (KmlGraphicsType.Polygon)
                'its a polygon
                MsgBox("I found a polygon")
                Dim theGeometryStr As String = indItem.Tag

            Case Else
                MsgBox("not a point, line or polygon. ignore for now")

        End Select


End Sub

I think I'm missing how to get the placemark's geometry. Any suggestions? And thanks again for the ideas.


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New Contributor III

Hi Ellen,

I think there are two options for this. The first method is to serialize the node to xml, then parse the xml string for the coordinates.

The second method is to use an undocumented method in the SDK called KmlNode.TargetLocation. I found this by using the object browser in Microsoft Studio.

Dim kPoint As ESRI.ArcGISExplorer.Geometry.Point = kmlNode.TargetLocation

After that you can add in all the other properties from the node (popup, viewpoint, name, etc) to that point

While the above will work for point icons, I am pretty sure you are going to have to serialize the xml string in order to deal with the lines and polygons, so you might as well do it for the points as well. If you only need the points, then the TargetLocation method is nice and easy.

It's to bad ESRI didn't add a GetCenter method for KML nodes like they have done in the Runtime SDKs


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Occasional Contributor

Hi Norm

I was able to use TargetLocation and get a new point. Thanks for that. As you suspected, it doesn't work for polygons and probably not paths either, which I did not test.

I had previously created a polygon by serializing (I believe I did anyway, I read an http response as xml and 'manually' created the polygon by working through the coordinate pairs.)

For anyone interested, create an ArcGIS Explorer Note of the Point type, using my coding above and using the kmlNode.TargetLocation to create a new point. Then,

Dim newNote As ESRI.arcgisexplorer.Mapping.Note

newNote = New Note("A new note",kPoint)


Again Norm, thanks very much!

Next item on my task list? Create xslt to take kml to nmc?


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