Select to view content in your preferred language

Import KML attributes in ExtendedData nodes

03-20-2014 08:07 AM
Status: Under Consideration
Labels (1)
Occasional Contributor

The Kml To Layer tool does not import data attributes contained in a KML file. Handling attributes should be an important function of a file import utility in the leading GIS software.
The KML spec for including attributes in KML GIS data is here:


Hello Jesse

Data Interoperability extension supports reading typed data from schema and schemadata elements in KML/KMZ files.

More frequently we see untyped data in description objects i.e. HTML, this can be extracted using the approach in this discussion.


When we import a KML/KMZ using the "KML to Feature" tool, we lose all of the attribution of the features. Only the name of the feature is preserved. I hear Global Mapper can do this and I also hear the Interoperability Extension allows this, but we have no licensing for either and I was hoping such a basic feature would be made available by ESRI. 


It's a nice idea, but part of the problem is that KML/KMZ is a non-tabular format. Some programs may behave otherwise, but an individual feature in a KML/KMZ can have any number of attributes unique to itself within the ExtendedData element.

          <Data name="Latitude">
          <Data name="Longitude">
          <Data name="Month">
          <Data name="Present">

I imagine it was a development decision to just keep it simple, rather than potentially have a massive table with mostly null values.

Still, maybe something like "attributes to keep" as an option in the tool would be nice, so the tool could look in the ExtendedData element for "<Data name="your-attribute"> and pull out the value. It would be a good enhancement.

Status changed to: Under Consideration

The development team is researching the use of KML ExtendedData attributes for the KML To Layer conversion tool.


Hello@MargaretCrawford Is there any BUG or EHN number we can keep on checking to see the advance of this?



Hi @DanielMurillo, you can track the issue with BUG-000126776


@DanielMurillo it may be easier to just follow this idea. We strive to keep statuses updated and accurate. But here is the link to the bug that Margaret cited: 

(Note that we typically don't keep ideas open that are legitimately bugs. I think there is some nuance that understandably makes this a perceived bug and in order to address that, we would need to address this idea.)


Hello @MargaretCrawford and @KoryKramer  for the info provided.

We will tell the customer to kudo this idea and hopefully this will be catched in any version soon.