KML File Extension

KML file icon
Keyhole Markup Language Format
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What is KML file?

File with.KML extension contains 3D geographic modeling data saved in XML-based format. KML files can store information about:

  • Points,
  • Lines - paths,
  • Rectangles,
  • Images,
  • 3D models,
  • Text descriptions.

Data stored in KML files can be used for marking and describing geographical locations, or adding various camera angles or overlay textures. Each location is described with its coordinates (latitude and longitude) following the WGS84 standard, and optionally with additional third coordinate – height above mean sea level, by default set to 0. ‘Camera view”’ or time stamp can also be defined. KML format shares some similarities with GML format.

KML files are commonly distributed as KMZ files, which are nothing more than KML files compressed using ZIP method. The name Keyhole Markup Language was derived form the name of an software application developed by company that developed this markup language used by KML files. In 2004 the company was bought by Google and the technology was used in Google Earth project, which allows viewing and editing KLM offline and online. In 2008 Open Geospatial Consortium standardized the KML 2.2 language as open format for geo-browsers.

Programs which support KML file extension

The list that follows enumerates programs compatible with KML files, divided into 4 categories based on operating system on which they are available. Files with KML extension, just like any other file formats, can be found on any operating system. The files in question may be transferred to other devices, be it mobile or stationary, yet not all systems may be capable of properly handling such files.

Programs that support KML file

How to open file with KML extension?

There can be multiple causes why you have problems with opening KML files on given system. Fortunately, most common problems with KML files can be solved without in-depth IT knowledge, and most importantly, in a matter of minutes. The list below will guide you through the process of addressing the encountered problem.

Step 1. Get the Google Earth

The main and most frequent cause precluding users form opening KML files is that no program that can handle KML files is installed on user’s system. The most obvious solution is to download and install Google Earth or one to the listed programs: Global Mapper, Merkaartor, Keyhole PRO. On the top of the page a list that contains all programs grouped based on operating systems supported can be found. If you want to download Google Earth installer in the most secured manner, we suggest you visit Google Inc. website and download from their official repositories.

Step 2. Check the version of Google Earth and update if needed

If the problems with opening KML files still occur even after installing Google Earth, it is possible that you have an outdated version of the software. Check the developer’s website whether a newer version of Google Earth is available. Software developers may implement support for more modern file formats in updated versions of their products. If you have an older version of Google Earth installed, it may not support KML format. The latest version of Google Earth should support all file formats that where compatible with older versions of the software.

Step 3. Set the default application to open KML files to Google Earth

After installing Google Earth (the most recent version) make sure that it is set as the default application to open KML files. The process of associating file formats with default application may differ in details depending on platform, but the basic procedure is very similar.

The procedure to change the default program in Windows

  • Choose the Open with entry from the file menu accessed by right-mouse clicking on the KML file
  • Next, select the Choose another app option and then using More apps open the list of available applications
  • To finalize the process, select Look for another app on this PC entry and using the file explorer select the Google Earth installation folder. Confirm by checking Always use this app to open KML files box and clicking OK button.

The procedure to change the default program in Mac OS

  • By clicking right mouse button on the selected KML file open the file menu and choose Information
  • Open the Open with section by clicking its name
  • Select the appropriate software and save your settings by clicking Change all
  • A message window should appear informing that This change will be applied to all files with KML extension. By clicking Continue you confirm your selection.

Step 4. Ensure that the KML file is complete and free of errors

You closely followed the steps listed in points 1-3, but the problem is still present? You should check whether the file is a proper KML file. Problems with opening the file may arise due to various reasons.

1. Check the KML file for viruses or malware

If the file is infected, the malware that resides in the KML file hinders attempts to open it. It is advised to scan the system for viruses and malware as soon as possible or use an online antivirus scanner. KML file is infected with malware? Follow the steps suggested by your antivirus software.

2. Check whether the file is corrupted or damaged

Did you receive the KML file in question from a different person? Ask him/her to send it one more time. During the copy process of the file errors may occurred rendering the file incomplete or corrupted. This could be the source of encountered problems with the file. If the KML file has been downloaded from the internet only partially, try to redownload it.

3. Verify whether your account has administrative rights

Some files require elevated access rights to open them. Switch to an account that has required privileges and try opening the Keyhole Markup Language Format file again.

4. Check whether your system can handle Google Earth

If the system is under havy load, it may not be able to handle the program that you use to open files with KML extension. In this case close the other applications.

5. Verify that your operating system and drivers are up to date

Latest versions of programs and drivers may help you solve problems with Keyhole Markup Language Format files and ensure security of your device and operating system. Outdated drivers or software may have caused the inability to use a peripheral device needed to handle KML files.

Conversion of a KML file

File Conversions from KML extension to a different format
File conversions from other format to KML file
Do you want to help?

If you have additional information about the KML file, we will be grateful if you share it with our users. To do this, use the form here and send us your information on KML file.

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