KML - Keyhole Markup Language File

What is a KML file

KML files are stored in the XML format and originally developed for a mapping software called Keyhole. In 2004, Google bought Keyhole Inc., which is why KML files are now heavily used by Google services that use and provide mapping services like Google Maps and Google Earth.

KML files contain information stored in the XML format. These information include images and more simple data like lines, polygons and points. They are used to save information about a particular location on a map. The KML file allows user to not only mark and label a location on a map, but also to add content in the HTML format, an texture overlay and different camera angles. To open KML files in Google Maps, all that is needed is a KML file hosted on the web. Using the specific file extension link in the search bar of Google Maps will open it.

Here's a small, but not exhaustive list of programs that can open KML documents:

  • Blender (Windows, Mac & Linux)
  • Blue Marble Geographics Global Mapper (Windows)
  • ESRI ArcGIS for Desktop (Windows)
  • Google Earth (Windows, Mac & Linux)
  • Google Maps (Web)
  • Merkaartor (Windows, Mac & Linux)
  • Keyhole PRO (Windows & Mac)
Extension KML
MIME type application/, application/earthviewer
Useful links
Example Files
(2.05 KiB)
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