How to Convert KMZ to SHP: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

Dawee M. asks:
quoteI am looking at your programme ExpertGPS. Can the programme convert a kmz file from Google Earth to a shp file to use in GIS?quote

KMZ Placemarks for New York Subway system shown in ExpertGPS Pro, prior to conversion to ESRI shapefiles

One convenient use for ExpertGPS Pro is as a converter from Google Earth’s KML and compressed KMZ formats into GIS shapefiles, DXF CAD drawings, and other GPS and mapping formats. For this example, I’ll convert the New York City subway lines and stations in KMZ format to SHP using ExpertGPS Pro. First I import the KMZ data into ExpertGPS Pro by clicking Import on the File menu, and selecting the KMZ file I downloaded from the Internet. ExpertGPS Pro converts the placemarks for each subway station into GPS waypoints, and converts each subway line into a GPS track.

Before I export the data, I have to decide what coordinate format to use to match my ArcGIS project. ExpertGPS Pro supports lat/lon, UTM, US state plane coordinates, and the national grid formats of Britain, France, and many other countries. New York City is covered by the New York Long Island state plane coordinate system, NAD83 datum, which I’ve selected in ExpertGPS Pro.

Converting KMZ data from lat/lon WGS84 to New York Long Island State Plane Coordinates, NAD83

To export the subway stations, I click once in the Waypoint List, and then click Export Waypoints in List on the File menu. When prompted to save the shapefile, I change the File Type in the bottom of the Export dialog to Point Shapefile (.shp). I repeat the process to export the subway lines from the Track List as a Polyline Shapefile.

Converting KMZ to SHP using ExpertGPS Pro.

After you’ve done this once in ExpertGPS, you’ll have the coordinate format already set to match your ArcGIS project, so converting additional KMZ and KML files simply becomes a two-step process. Import the KMZ, and click Export to convert it to a shapefile.

Related Topics
How to publish GIS layers to Google Earth KML
More file conversions with ExpertGPS Pro

8 Responses to How to Convert KMZ to SHP: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

  1. Dawie Maree says:

    Greeting Dan

    GPSExpert looks like it is going to do everything we want, except maybe make us coffee. I appreciate the effort you made to give me such a complete answer to my question.

    We will be downloading the trial version to see if it can help our company and will buy the programme if it lives up to the promises it makes.

    Thanks for you great support.


  2. Neil says:

    Can your program convert GoogleEarth KMZ files to waypoint files to be loaded into Oziexplorer?

  3. Dan Foster says:

    Yes, ExpertGPS will convert any KMZ or KML file into GPX, which is the de-facto standard for GPS data interchange. ExpertGPS uses GPX as its native file format, so that you’re always able to move your data to other GPS receivers and mapping programs without conversion. Recent releases of OziExplorer support GPX import.

  4. chiedu okafor says:

    please is it possible to upload imageries from google earth directly to arcGIS. and if this is possible how can it be done?

  5. Bishnu attreya says:

    i am student of geomatics engineering. I need softwere to convert shp file to kml and vice verca

  6. Dan Foster says:

    You’ve come to the right place! ExpertGPS Pro will convert back and forth between GIS shp files and Google Earth’s KML and KMZ formats. Visit to download a free trial and see how ExpertGPS can handle your GIS conversion needs.

  7. Dan Foster says:

    Google Earth’s licensing doesn’t allow you to use their imagery for commercial purposes, but they do have a command in Google Earth (on the File menu) to save an image of the screen. You can use ExpertGPS to calibrate this image (using the scanned map feature) and export it to ArcGIS. Read

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