"Layer to KML" symbology issue - ArcGIS Pro

12-17-2017 05:37 PM
New Contributor

I'm experiencing weird behavior when using the "Layer to KML" geoprocessing tool in ArcGIS Pro 2.0.1.  The scenario is as follows:

I created a group layer (States) with 4 child layers corresponding to regions of the country (Northeast, South, Midwest, West).  These region-specific child layers depict a different subset of content (polygons) from a shapefile of all the states -- I'm using definition queries on each child layer to control which features are drawn in which layer (my definition query is based on a field named "region").  The child layers use a Unique Values symbology, with colors based on the same field as the definition query ("region").  So, the Northeast states are one color, the Midwest states are all a different color, and so on.  When I export the group layer to KML and view in Google Earth, all the states (across all the regions) are the same color.  This isn't what was intended.

It appears that the KML file created by ArcGIS Pro has placemarks that all reference a style called "PolyStyle00".  But, towards the bottom of the KML file, I see that "PolyStyle00" has been defined / redefined multiple times, with different fill colors.  I think what needs to be happening here is that the KML file should have a few different styleUrls, such as "PolyStyle00", "PolyStyle01", etc, and the placemarks in each region should be referring to the appropriate styleUrl.

I think this is probably just an ArcGIS Pro bug, but if anyone can confirm, that would be great.  Thanks.

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6 Replies
MVP Emeritus

similar issue reported here... I don't know if the comment resolved it, but it looks like a similar situation


New Contributor

I took a look at that thread; I'm not sure if it's the same issue -- looks like their concern was about how to control the placemark name in the output KML file.  In my case I'm actually totally happy with the placemark names, but it's the fill color that didn't work out for me.  The workaround may just be to abandon the whole group layer / child layer organizational system, but I do really like the way that group layers can drive the creation of subfolders in the output KML file.

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New Contributor

Hi Thomas,

We created BUG-000110513 for this issue, and will address it in the next Pro releases.


New Contributor III

Hi, Jibin Liu,

I can't find mention of BUG-000110513 anywhere else.  What is the status on fixing it?

Thanks in advance!

New Contributor

This occurs  in 10.5 as well. Sometimes the colors of the symbols are incorrect. I restart ArcMap and perform the proper steps for KML creation and it works most of the time. It is aggravating.


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New Contributor II


Have you found a solution for this yet? If not, I have a less convenient workaround. I run into this issue often, so what I have been doing is splitting the layer into multiple layers in Pro, then running layer to kml for each layer. This will keep the desired symbology. You can then open each individual KMZ in GE, then put all layers in new folder and save as new kmz.



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