Importing Data from KMZ / KML

KMZ / KML

Keyhole Markup Language (KML, ZIP-version: KMZ) is an XML based language for the description of geospatial data for Google Earth and Google Maps. KML is a standard of the Open Geospatial Consortium. The user can create 3D content by the means of Google Sketchup or download e.g. building models from Google Warehouse.

A brief format description

KML-documents may contain geospatial data either in vector or raster form. Vector objects like points, lines, polygons and entire models in the COLLADA format (DAE) are defined as "Placemark" elements; airborne and satellite imagery are modeled as "groundOverlay" elements.

Besides the geometry, Placemark elements may involve name, description, predefined style, angle and distance of view, a time stamp, but also other data e.g. from a geoinformation system. The same holds for GroundOverlay elements, where instead of the geometry a coordinates section has to be defined for georeferencing.

Within CityEngine

At the time CityEngine supports only Placemarks defining a 'Model', which in turn refer to a COLLADA DAE model.

The following Model attributes are read: 'name', 'altitudeMode', 'Location', 'Orientation', 'Scale'. In a Model the georeference is stored in the Location attribute consisting of 'longitude', 'latitude' in degrees and 'altitude' in meters. The geographical coordinate system is always the 'WGS84'.

When pressing the Finish-button and the current CityEngine scene's coordinate system is not yet set, a dialog will show up proposing the UTM-zone corresponding to the given longitude.

Import Settings

KMZ / KML import has no options. Simply select a ".kmz" file, a ".kml" file or a folder containing one or more ".kml" files by clicking on the Browse... button. When importing ".kmz", only a single file may be imported at once.

For KMZ as well as KML files, the easiest way to import is by first dragging either the KMZ file(s) or the folder containing the KML file and associated files into the CityEngine workspace from your file manager (e.g. Windows Explorer), and then importing it from there. KMZ as well as KML importers (below) work on the CityEngine workspace.


A single selected KML file


A folder containing KML files has been selected


A single selected KMZ file

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