KMZ - Keyhole Markup Language (Zipped)

What is a KMZ file

KMZ files refer to the Keyhole Markup Language (in zipped form), which is used for geographic annotation and visualization within online 2D and 3D maps utilized by Google. Programs like Google Maps, Google Earth, and Google Maps for mobile devices utilize KMZ files. Data is stored using longitude and latitude measurements alongside altitude from sea level to create coordinates. The original creators at Keyhold, INC were acquired by the well-known Google Company. A virtual globe program, Marble, can also utilize these files for maps. KMZ and related files are extensions from XML files.

KMZ files are capable of displaying information to Here Maps, Google Earth Maps, and other geospatial software. Longitude and latitude are used alongside features like tilt, heading, altitude, and more define the camera view of maps. KMZ files are KML files and any number of supporting files zipped and compressed using legacy (Zip 2.0) compression methods for maximum usage with geobrowsers, but other zip programs can be used as well. KMZ files are obtained from web servers, unzipped, and the KML files within the KMZ file are separated and converted to their original format. KMZ files contain many different files containing overlays, images, 3D models, and more at root document levels. KML and KMZ files are involved in the international standard for the Open Geospatial Consortium.

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

  • Google Earth
  • Google Maps
  • Trimble SketchUp
  • Global Mapper
  • ESRI ArcGIS for Desktop
Extension KMZ
MIME type application/
Useful links
Example Files
(962 bytes)