This article describes how to import a Google KMZ or KML file.


Importing a Google Earth KMZ or KML

Importing boundaries from KMZ or KML files need to be set up as polygons.  Boundaries set up as paths will not be recognized in SunDAT Web.

  1. Select the Project icon and then press the Import KMZ/KML/DXF/DWG button
  2. Select the KMZ or KML to import into SunDAT Web.  Then press Open to begin the import process into SunDAT Web 
  3. After the import is complete, boundaries from the KMZ/KML will be visible in the model and assigned as Regions automatically.  Also, project information in the Project Setup will be updated with information from the KMZ/KML and an aerial imagery will be shown behind the region.

Expanding the aerial imagery

Sometimes boundaries imported from KMZ or KML will be larger than the aerial imagery.  In this case, the aerial imagery can be enlarged in Project Setup.

  1. Go to Project -> Site
  2. Scroll down Imagery Radius(meters). Expand the aerial imagery by either adjusting the toggle bar or entering a value  
  3. Press the Update button and the project will update with the aerial imagery expanded

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Creating keep out areas

For SunDAT to recognize keep out areas, polygons in the KMZ/KML need to be assigned as keep outs in Google Earth before importing into SunDAT Web.  

  1. In Google Earth, expand the KMZ/KML in Places tray to see the object structure
  2. Select the polygon that is to be the keep out area.  Right-click it and choose rename.
  3. Rename the polygon keep out  
  4. If there is more than one keep out area, repeat the same steps above
  5. Save the place as a KMZ/KML file
  6. Import the KMZ/KML into SunDAT Web and the keep out region will appear as a red region


What is the source of the aerial imagery and terrain?

SunDAT Web uses Mapbox

Can import more than one KMZ or KML into a SunDAT Web project?

No.  The easiest way for multiple KMZ or KML files is to import them together in Google Earth and then export that as a single file.

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Failed KMZ or KML import



SunDAT requires polygons in order to import to import a KMZ or KML file.  The reasons why SunDAT cannot find polygons in the KMZ or KML could be because

  • The KMZ or KML file only contains paths and not polygons
  • The polygons have no names or incompatible characters in the name 

Potential Solutions:

If the KMZ or KML has polygon(s), but it is not importing into SunDAT, double check the polygon(s) has a name(s) or rename the polygon(s) if there are special characters

  1. Open the KMZ or KML file in Google Earth
  2. Expand the KMZ or KML file in the Places window to see the folder structure
  3. Look for the polygon(s) in the KMZ or KML and if it has [no name], rename the polygon by right-clicking the polygon and selecting Rename

If the site boundaries in the KMZ or KML are paths, then they will need to be changed to polygons.  The quickest way to convert a path to polygon is to open the KML file in a text editor and making a few edits

  1. [If the file is a KML, skip down to step 4] For a KMZ, it will need to be converted to a KML for the file to be edited in a text editor.  Open the KMZ in Google Earth
  2. Right-click on the KMZ in the Places window and select Save place as...
  3. In the save file window, change the Save as type: to KML (*.kml) and then save
  4. Open the KML file in a text editor either from the text editor or right-clicking the file and selecting Open with and then choosing the text editor
  5. In the text editor, find a replace <Linestring>with <Polygon><outerBoundaryIs><LinearRing>.  Also, find and replace </LineString> to </LinearRing></outerBoundaryIs></LinearRing>

  6. Save the KML file and now try to import into SunDAT Web



In the KMZ/KML, there is a "XSI" prefix to an XML attribute that is throwing an error on import

Potential Solutions:

Remove "XSI" prefix  from the KMZ/KML.  

  1. KMZ file needs to be saved as KML file. Open the KMZ in Google Earth and save it as a KML.  
  2. Right-click on the KML file and open with text editor (i.e. WordPad, Notepad, or Sublime text 2)
  3. Look for "xsi:schemaLocation" or anything with "xsi".  Delete the text and the link that follows (click the image below to see an example) below. 
  4. Save the file and import the KML in SunDAT Web
If you are using a GIS platform to generate KMLs, there may be a way to eliminate that attribute during your export process

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