A Keyhole Markup Language (KML) file is a great way to view GIS data outside of ArcMap. Although there are many different ways to package and make data available, KML provides a simple format that can be viewed in a myriad of applications and can also be easily distributed to others.
Map layers can be converted to KML through the tools within the To KML toolset (ArcToolbox > Conversion Tools > To KML).
Although the tools within this toolset produce a KML quickly, the output lacks attribute data if not set up correctly. As in the example below, the KML only has the feature name. The name comes from the label expression of the ArcMap layer.
As you can see in the following screen shot, the Major Lakes Feature Class has some valuable attribute data that could be helpful if added to a KML file.
Steps to Add Attribute Data to KML Files
1. Open Layer Properties of the layer to be converted to KML.
2. Click on the HTML Popup Tab
3. Check “Show content for this layer using the HTML Popup tool 4. Select the desired HTML formatting.
a. The table of visible fields is the default option and best for HTML content embedded inside geodatabase fields.
b. The URL is best for pointing features at a set of predefined HTML pages.
c. The formatted page based on an XSL template is best for advanced formatting.
5. Verify the HTML format.
A HTML Verification window will display an example of the popup.
Once you have the desired results, proceed to use either the Layer to KML tool or the Map to KML tool to create the KML file.
After you add the KML file to your application, you can see the added attributes for the features by clicking on it.
For additional information on KML, please see the following resources:
-Timothy H., Support Analyst – Geodata Raster Group, Esri Support Services – Charlotte, NC