File Extension KMZ
File extension KMZ is most commonly associated with a compressed Keyhole Markup Language (File extension KML) file. KMZ files are commonly used by geobrowser applications such as Google Earth to import geographical data in KML format along with associated resources.
KMZ files are Zip compressed archives which can be opened using any application with an unzipping utility. A typical KMZ file will contain a KML document, which is an XML-based representation of information which can be overlaid on 2D or 3D maps. This will include a geographical location based on longitude and latitude, as well as points, lines or text which can be used to describe or illustrate a location. KML files can also contain paths to external images or 3D textured objects which can also be used to illustrate an area or point on a map. These resources will usually be distributed in subfolders contained within the KMZ file, which can then be imported in their entirety using any geobrowsing software which supports KML.
KMZ files are self-contained, and ensure that all required resources are packaged together and that the file and folder structure is retained, making it an ideal format for the distribution of data in KML format. KMZ files are also much smaller than raw KML files due to compression, making it an ideal format for the distribution of geographical data over networks where bandwidth may be an issue.
KMZ files can be imported using any geobrowsing software which supports KML input. Popular applications which support KMZ import include Google Earth, Google Maps and Microsoft Virtual Earth. KMZ files which contain 3D geometry information may also be imported into Blender or older versions of Google Sketchup. KMZ files can also be opened and extracted using archiving software such as WinZip, WinRAR, WinAce or Stuffit by changing the extension to File extension ZIP, as these are both the same file format albeit with different extensions.