Converting KML to Shapefiles

I did a number of posts on converting your GIS data to KML and sharing it with Google Earth, but I never looked at going in the opposite direction. Being in the GIS genre of geeks, I generally already have the data in a shapefile (or can be made so) format. With the amount of data in KML expanding rapidly, however, there may well be instances when you need to convert KML data to something your desktop tools won’t sneeze at.I just ran in to a post on the great Free Geography Tools blog that talks about kml2shp, a freeware beta that lets you convert KML to SHP. You simply open the KML file, choose the shape file type, and off it goes. It can reproject the KML to your favorite datum, and it can also export to DXF and GPS (I didn’t test either of the latter two options - the post I read indicated those two exports had some limitations).

A handy tool to be sure. Even if you don’t need it now, it might not be a bad idea to download the free beta in case it one day becomes a not-so-free production release.

If you are a Linux user and you don’t want to try this out in Wine, check out this post from PerryGeo. It uses a bash script, a XSLT stylesheet, and OGR.

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