Change name of "Export to KML" to "Export to KMZ"

11-10-2021 10:35 AM
Status: Closed
Labels (1)
New Contributor III

I would like to suggest that you change the name of the "Export to KML" tool to "Export to KMZ". The tool only exports to KMZ, not KML. I have to open the KMZ in Google Earth and export it again to a KML. I feel that the name of your tool is misleading. It is a bit annoying to expect one result and get another one. Thank you.

Yep well that is typical once a software company gets too big for its
boots, I didn't actually realise that the origin of Google Earth was
from an original software developed by Keyhole Inc and then Google
bought it out.  That is also typical, these days Google owns/controls
just about everything from internet search engines, to home
'intelligence systems' (oxymoron) to 'smart phones (another oxymoron)
and laptops for children so that they are completely entrenched in the
'/Google Sphere/' from a young age...Emails, etc.,  I had originally
thought Google Earth was the one good thing that Google did and now I
found out that they just bought it off someone and now, as I have
mentioned, they run just about everything that is capable of collecting
personal data on everyone everywhere all the time!

I choose to 'Search the Internet' rather than 'Google it' I certainly
don't want to give them free advertising from me, and I use DuckDuckGo
as my search engine so I do what I can to support open source internet




@DWR_BuckEhler , @SteveCole , @Anonymous User , @MarianMcDuie 

Apologies for the lack of information presented while closing the Idea. I should share the perspective of the development team that lead to the issue being closed.

The same KML conversion tools have been supported for the last decade and more in ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro. When a tool is released there are things about the tool that cannot change, in order to better support backward compatibility (i.e. a model or script written in a previous version should continue to work in new versions). The tool name is one of the things that cannot change. So while a request to change a tool name may sound simple, it is not something our team does lightly if ever at all. We can change the UI label that appears on a tool while maintaining compatibility, though again this is only rarely employed because the underlying tool name would not change, nor would the function name arcpy.LayerToKML change. Changing the display name is problematic because it introduced a difference between the tool users see in the UI and in Python.  

Onto a few substantive matters. I included the wiki link to define what KML is, as I believe that some of those following or voting on the issue might not know that .KMZ is actually the most common file format associated with KML. The KML in the ArcGIS tool name refers to the overall format and not the specific file extension of the output. Across a polling of common GIS and mapping applications, .KMZ is universally supported, so I do not fully understand why you would need .KML. .KMZ is a compressed archive of a .KML file plus other supplemental files that make the KML behavior and visualization richer, but if the .KML is needed all it takes is renaming the .KMZ to .ZIP and you can simply copy the .KML out of the archive. The owners and inventors of the format themselves suggest to use KMZ for almost all KML needs, as .KMZ supports many things that .KML does not and is compressed for a smaller file size. 

Lastly, Esri's development teams do highly value user feedback. Specifically the ArcGIS Pro geoprocessing development team that owns the KML conversion tools values this site and community. During the ArcGIS Pro 3.0 release we were proud to be the team to deliver the most completed Ideas of any ArcGIS Pro development team. We receive many forms of feedback and have to prioritize it. The development engineers that work on this tool include a single software developer and a product specialist, so prioritization is critical for a small team. When we have to choose between improving functionality and fixing bugs, or changing the tool name or supporting .KML output , we thought it was best to update this Idea with the decision that the change will not be prioritized. 

I hope this might make the decision more clear. 


I appreciate the additional explanation provided by Drew and I wanted to provide some further context around the ArcGIS Pro team's use of ArcGIS Ideas. As Drew mentioned, we highly value direct feedback from all of our users - and we receive that feedback through a number of channels in addition to ArcGIS Ideas. That includes enhancement requests through Technical Support, the pre-UC survey and a separate product survey conducted annually, multiple conferences throughout the year where we listen to users directly, calls, emails, and so on. 

We are on track to receive approximately 800 ideas this year for ArcGIS Pro - so in addition to the other feedback channels noted above, we are getting many thousands of pieces of information about how to continuously improve ArcGIS Pro to work better for everyone. We take user feedback seriously, and since we are not able to implement everything that comes in we strive to communicate with you. The idea status documentation explains each status, with Closed described as, "Unfortunately, not all ideas are a good fit. These are not being considered at this time and will not be open to further voting.  

Ideas may be closed for different reasons, and we will do our best to communicate and let the community know why this idea isn’t a good match for our current plans. Thank you for your contribution!"

In this case, hopefully it is now understandable why renaming a geoprocessing tool can be problematic. We also aim to communicate all of the user ideas that do get implemented with each release. Here are a couple of examples:

Ideas in ArcGIS Pro 3.0 

Ideas in ArcGIS Pro 2.9 ... and more can be found on the ArcGIS Ideas blog.

Anyway, I don't want to drone on more here, but it is personally important to me that you understand how much we value your input and hope that you continue to contribute in a positive way to Esri Community and to ArcGIS Pro Ideas. Please be mindful of the Community Guiding Principles of "Be Helpful. Be Human. Be Smart." Thanks again for your continued contributions.

Hey Kory,

I do totally appreciate your response and the details of what you have
explained re the whole process. It's interesting I must admit that
sometimes 'social media platforms' (Twitter is the only one I bother
with these days and even I'm not entirely sure about) can lead people to
be a tad lose with their comments and the level of intensity that they
may direct at things that seem to be beyond reasonable effort to
control.  I reckon most people end up shouting because they feel no-one
really listens unless they do.  ESRI and the ESRI Community is
definitely not that sort of platform and it is very refreshing to have
such genuine interest from a company as large and influential as ESRI
taking the time to listen and interact with its community of users.

Geography seems to attract reasonable well 'grounded' people 😉




Thank you for the additional information. That makes more sense than a Wikipedia link. 

And many thanks to my colleagues for their support on this thread. It is nice to know I am not alone.

I have submitted a new idea related to this -

If you are unable to change the name, I hope you are open to this ArcGIS Idea to improve the experience for your users.



That is an excellent idea! Being able to have the choice to select the
.kml file extension to export data layers and I have also used the
option in Google Earth of saving it out as a kml, and that has worked. 
I'm wondering if it is an option to rename the file extension from kmz
to kml in computer file viewing windows... say make a copy of the kmz
file, then say on a PC, in Explorer, change the file extension name from
.kmz to .kml? I'll give that a go and see if it works.  To be able to
choose the .kml option in ArcGIS however would be ideal, anytime we have
to go in and out of other software programs adds to time taken in post
processing and the possibility of file corruptions which are both not great.