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.KMZ File Extension

File TypeGoogle Earth Placemark File

3.8 (208 Votes)
CategoryGIS Files

What is a KMZ file?

A KMZ file is a Zip-compressed .KML file that stores map locations viewable in various geographic information systems (GIS) applications, most notably Google Earth. It contains one or more placemarks that may include a custom name and the latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates of the location. KMZ files may also include COLLADA 3D models, overlays, and images referenced by the KML file.

More Information
Screenshot of a .kmz file in Google Earth Pro 7.3
KMZ file open in Google Earth Pro 7.3

KMZ files are designed to reduce the space taken up by KML files to make them easier to distribute and share with multiple users. Common uses for KMZ files include sharing placemarks or tours with users via email or when publishing on a webpage.

Various programs may create KMZ files, but they are primarily created by Google Earth Pro. To create a KMZ file in Google Earth Pro, select File → Save → Save Place As..., then choose "Kmz" from the dropdown menu.

NOTE: 3D models included in KMZ files are accompanied by location data. This data is referenced to place the model on the map at a specific location to provide an idea of what the building looks like in that area.

How do I open a KMZ file?

You can open KMZ files with a variety of mapping applications for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. The Google Earth Pro desktop application is a common choice for opening KMZ files. To open a KMZ file with Google Earth Pro, select File → Open....

Since KMZ files are Zip-compressed KML files, you can also open them by changing the .kmz file extension to .zip, then decompressing them with a Zip utility. You can then open the KML file with a GIS application, such as Google Earth, Google Earth Pro, Blue Marble Geographics Global Mapper, or ESRI ArcGIS Pro. Or you can open the KML file with a text editor, since it is saved in a plain text format.

NOTE: You can also open a KMZ file in Google Maps by saving the KMZ file to an online location and then typing the URL in the Google Maps search box. For example, if your file is hosted at http://mywebsite.com/myfile.kmz, type the URL in the search box and it will be displayed in Google Maps.

Alternatively, to display your KMZ file in Google Maps, you can construct the URL yourself by prefixing it with http://maps.google.com/maps?q=. Therefore, using the same URL from above, you would type the following URL in your Web browser:


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Programs that open KMZ files

Updated 9/25/2020

About KMZ Files

Our goal is to help you understand what a file with a *.kmz suffix is and how to open it.

The Google Earth Placemark file type, file format description, and Mac, Windows, Linux, and Android programs listed on this page have been individually researched and verified by the FileInfo team. We strive for 100% accuracy and only publish information about file formats that we have tested and validated.

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