Geospatial - GISGoogle earth / maps

Open shp files with Google Earth

The version of Google Earth Pro stopped being paid a long time ago, with which it is possible to open different GIS and Raster files directly from the application. We understand that there are different ways to send an SHP file to Google Earth, either from proprietary software such as BentleyMap o AutoCAD Civil3D, Or open source as Qgis o GvSIG; In both aspects a transformation to KML is necessary. 

In this article we explain how to do it with Google Earth Pro:

How to download Google Earth Pro

When people search for “Download Google Earth”, the Pro option never appears, Google's evil or lack of a simple button to tell us that it is no longer paid.

This is the link for Download Google Earth Pro.

This is the link for Download Google Earth, Normal version.

When installing the version, it asks us for an API key. If one has never been opened, an email and test key can be entered GEPFREE.  Selecting the “Free trial” option.

Google earth pro

This opens Google Earth Pro to operate normally.


What GIS formats can be viewed from Google Earth Pro

From Google Earth, when making the option File> OpenEither File> Import, Allows us, unlike the normal version that only supported KML, KMZ and GPX, the following formats:

  • Point lists .txt .csv
  • MapInfo .tab files
  • Microstation .dgn files
  • United States Census .rt1
  • Visual Raster .vrt
  • Raster georeferenced .tif
  • Raster .ntf Transmission Formats
  • Pictures of Erdas .img
  • PCIDSK Databases .pix
  • Raster ILWIS .mpl
  • SGI .rgb image formats
  • Lift model .ter
  • Matrix Raster .rsw
  • Raster Idrisi .rst
  • Binary Grids Golden Software .grd
  • Pixmap portable .pnm
  • Raster Vexcel MFF .hdr
  • Binary terrain model .bt
  • Raster digitized ARC .gen
  • Grid SAGA binary .sdat


Google earth pro

Import SHP files

The big difference between importing exported files from another format to KML or importing them from Google Earth Pro, is that here they can come with a theming and not as a single layer of a single color. The .PRJ file must exist, where the projection is configured, in addition to the .SHP of the vector data, .DBF of the tabular data and .SHX of the indexed data. 

Interestingly, it is not limited by the amount of data, which is disappointing with the SHAPE2EARTH Engine tool, although it has some valuable theming functionality and attribute options. It must also be admitted that some GIS programs have some trouble converting to KML / KMZ accurately.

When importing data, the system asks obscene things, things like:

Look sweetheart, what you are looking to import has more than 2,500 functions and could collapse the coffeepot rot that you are using.

You can import only what is in your view.

You can import everything, under your own stubbornness,

Or you can cancel the import and better go and see if you already laid eggs the frog.

Google earth pro

As you can see in the following graph, the layer has been imported, themed with random colors.

Google earth pro

Interestingly, the style includes an html pair to display the tabular data, in this case as follows:

IDREGION $ [municipalities / IDREGION]

TYPE REGION $ [municipalities / TIPOREGION]

NAME EEGI $ [municipalities / NOMBREREGI]

Google earth pro


Download Google Earth Pro

Golgi Alvarez

Writer, researcher, specialist in Land Management Models. He has participated in the conceptualization and implementation of models such as: National Property Administration System SINAP in Honduras, Management Model of Joint Municipalities in Honduras, Integrated Cadastre-Registry Management Model in Nicaragua, Territory Administration System SAT in Colombia . Editor of the Geofumadas knowledge blog since 2007 and creator of the AulaGEO Academy that includes more than 100 courses on GIS - CAD - BIM - Digital Twins topics.

Related Articles


  1. regards

    For a task I am asked for applications that do NOT read, geopackage, shapefile and kml. I have spent a lot of time searching for the information but without result. I hope you can help me. I anticipate my thanks.

  2. Excellent article, I served a lot in a project with geological charts, very good.

  3. Excellent article on this popular tool, such as google earth pro, the details and explanations on the subject are very clear and concise. Greetings.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Back to top button