Shapefile to Google Earth kml - Customize Symbol Properties and Labeling (NO PROGRAMMING REQUIRED!)

Although there is a tool in ArcToolbox (Layer to KML) that allows you to convert your ArcGIS file to a Google Earth KML file, this tool gives you no options for customizing how the information is displayed.

Let me present to you the opensource (aka FREE) Shp2kml tool:

Note:  The Download link is actually half way down the webpage, the large Start Download button at the top of the page is part of an ad for a different product.

Step 1:  Choose your input file and coordinate system.

Step 2: Decide which attribute you want to use as the label and check 'Mouse Roll over Effect' if you want to highlight a feature when the mouse is moved over it.

Step 3: Decide what color and transparency (opacity) you features will be.

Step 4: Decide what attribute information you would like in the pop-up balloon when a feature is clicked or selected and customize the balloons symbology.

Step 5: Give the kml layer a name and any descriptive information you would like and your done!




Work-around for expired shp2kml

Just recently when trying to use Shp2kml, I was getting a message saying "The license for this tool has expired". Here is a handy work-around, just set your computer calendar back when you want to use the tool.  I just set my computer calendar to 1/1/2011 and the tool works again. SUPER BRILLIANT!

Beware of special characters

Beware of special characters in your attribute tables. This tool requires that you convert to one of their short list of coordinate systems.  WGS84 works well.