GeoPDF support in ArcGIS Field Maps

05-02-2022 02:46 AM
Status: Open
New Contributor II

ArcMap Desktop and ArcGIS Pro can export GeoPDFs but they are not supported in Esri mobile apps i.e. ArcGIS Field Maps.  This makes no sense given that GeoPDFs are widely accepted in non-Esri GIS mapping mobile apps.

There are limitations with PDFs because spatial information is simplified to an image with a fixed resolution and cant be queried etc.  However, GeoPDFs are small in file size, easy to generate and circulate to non-technical users that require a simple locality map for offline navigation.

Esri equivalents or workarounds are difficult to implement:  i.e. TPK files (Tile Packages) are to too time consuming to generate. - This technical article explains the process of converting a PDF to GeoTiff, then generating a tile package.  The problem with this process is that you end up with a file which is significantly larger than the original PDF file.

Another alternative is to use a MMPK (Mobile Map Package) but these files can end up being extremely large in size and are difficult to share via email.  You can share MMPK files via Portal but this requires user training, download instructions and Portal access (Unless you tick the 'Enable anonymous use' during mmpk file generation, but this requires the Publisher extension $). 

Please vote for this idea if you would like to help expand GeoPDF support across ArcGIS Field Maps and the Esri ArcGIS technology stack.


Maybe if in the app, you could open a map and then load a GeoPDF that gets saved as an image in the Markup layer instead of in a dedicated Feature Service even. It could be a really handy function and give simpler apps like Avenza a run for their money. 


I love this idea! My organization uses Avenza over FieldMaps and Collector because it is so 'easy' to load a map without having to go "through GIS" to upload the data.  By either having the map author given this ability, or the end user adding that item into the map (while mobile) would be a great option!


I'd upvote this a hundred times if I could.


It probably doesn't line up with the overall direction ESRI is going with web maps/services, but emailing a quick PDF map with some custom info to a crew who are already using a complex field maps set-up would be very, very convenient. 


Glad I stumbled across this! Totally agree with Alex's point. 


An add GeoPDF basemap option in the meatball menu, code in Field Maps to import/convert the GeoPDF into a readable offline package format maybe? If Avenza can do it, then so can ESRI!


Crews would love to be able to view PDF'ed autocad drawings in this way.


This feature is a necessity and not just a want, and it is the main obstacle in adoption from staff. 
Sometimes, through work flows out of your control, all you get is a georeferenced pdf. 


Absolutely. Most of our staff, especially the not tech savvy ones, still want to use Avenza because it's simple.

So we have to keep paying two subscription (Esri mobile worker and Avenza). Esri could easily add this capability to Field Maps.