Keyhole Markup Language (KML) is the primary mechanism supported by Google for interchanging GIS data, maps, and graphics information in the Google Earth and Google Maps communities. The sheer number of Google Maps and Google Earth users makes KML one of the most widely used interchange mechanisms for exchanging, sharing, and viewing geospatial information.
The ArcGIS user community represents thousands of organizations that are updating GIS information for many industries and applications every day. The ability to publish your information for use within this broad web-mapping community and also to access and use others' data in ready-to-use KML formats can significantly help your work.
As an ArcGIS user, you can apply KML in three strategic ways:
- You can use KML files to share your GIS contents for use in web-mapping applications such as Google Earth, Google Maps, and other applications that support KML.
- You can dynamically serve GIS content as a live service from ArcGIS for Server, ensuring that the latest information is available as it changes.
- You can integrate KML from many other users into your daily operations inside of ArcGIS.
A key aspect of leveraging KML in your GIS work is based on a solid understanding about how to translate your geographic features, imagery, and map layers into KML graphics, for example, how you prepare your GIS data for translation into KML.
See What is KML? to get an overview of how to do this work and a comprehensive guide for using KML.