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What is a KMZ file?

Jon Coursey

What is a KMZ file?

A KMZ file is a placemark file used in Google Earth and Google Earth Pro. Since KMZ files contain latitude and longitude coordinates, as well as 3D model data, they can be used in GIS environments to digitally represent real locations of the Earth.

Why we need one from you?

KMZ files are great for defining a specific area of interest. We use them here at Harris Geospatial to research imagery options, as well as to generate quotes for our custom mapping services. As most of the data we sell is priced per square kilometer, having an exact area of interest from the customer is crucial to getting an accurate quote. The KMZ file helps to ensure we are not charging you for coverage of an area that you don’t need, or omitting an area that you do need. Since these files are generated in Google Earth, users can easily map out the area with place names, streets, and imagery available as reference points.

How to create a KMZ file in Google Earth?

  1. Zoom to your location within Google Earth.
  2. Once located, select the “Add polygon” button (third from left) on the toolbar at the top of the map.
  3. There will be a dialog box that opens up. Here, you can name the polygon you are about to create. Before continuing, make sure to the polygon being created is either “Outlined” of “Filled + Outlined”. You can do this by selecting the “Style, Color” tab, then clicking the drop down menu in the “Area” section. Do NOT click OK before drawing your polygon.
  4. Begin drawing your boundary with the left mouse button.  Keep the dialog box open that pops up until you are finished with the polygon.
  5. Left click to place each point of the polygon.  Vertices can be moved and deleted as required by moving cursor over vertex.
  6. Name and adjust the styles and color as required in the dialog box.
  7. Select “OK” in the dialog box to finish edit session.
  8. This will place the new polygon on the left side under “Places”.
  9. Find your polygon in the list, right click the name, and choose "Save Place As…" and save the KMZ file to your computer.

I have my KMZ file. Now what?

Send it to us! Let us know what type of geospatial products or services you’d like, and we will send over pricing and product information as soon as possible. You can submit this via email by contacting us at geospatialdata@harris.com.


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