View GeoPDF Files in ArcMap

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07-28-2010 02:56 PM
Status: Under Consideration
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New Contributor III

GeoPDF formatted data represents a large and growing source of information. The US Geological Survey is creating all new US Topo products in GeoPDF format and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency is releasing scanned map products in GeoPDF format.

It would be a great help if ArcMap would be able to display these GeoPDF products ... at least as a background map ... if not exploit their content further.

117 Comments
Don't use Bentley Microstation much these days, but just installed the latest version and it handles GeoPDF's as a reference file. Quite useful! The PDF was generated using ArcMap....
There are the extensions out there that allow you to bring GeoPDF's in ArcMAP now. Downloadable from Army Geospatial Center's website for those with DoD CAC card.

Full link with directions is available below.

http://forums.esri.com/Thread.asp?c=93&f=982&t=234444

Digitaly signed georeferenced pdf (could be generated using ArcGIS, etc.) is a legal document. Import to ArcGIS Desktop/ArcGIS Server as a background info would help to use legal info in many situations.

It would be nice if GeoPDF, KML and KMZ was supported out of the box in all ESRI products (ArcGIS Engine, Desktop etc)

It would sure beat having to georeference the geoPDF, especially if you have a large project
Be great to add geoPDFs directly into Map - major help to us.

I agree that we would like to have the geopdf "content" so that we can pull it into ArcGIS. The tricky part is that geopdf may not carry the entire "meaning" of the GIS content, and so we can't get it all back. I would rather see that we (USGS) provide shapefiles, geodatabases, geotifs, and layer packages (for example) that carry the full meaning of the geopdf. I know that these data exist (since we use ArcGIS to create the content), and so we just need to figure out the best way to deliver it. That's my two cents as a GIS user who just happens to be behind one of the USGS firewalls (behind one firewall, but not the ONLY one!).

I have to agree, this is a much needed tool.  If ArcGIS can generate a GeoPDF and Bentley Microstation can read a GeoPDF, there is no reason ArcGIS Desktop should not be able to read the GeoPDF. 

GeoPDFs and ArcGIS

USGS has embarked on digitizing historic topographic maps for all US states.(http://nationalmap.gov/historical/) Finished maps are in GeoPDF format, which as far as I can tell is not useable directly in ArcGIS 10. Opening GeoPDF in Acrobat Reader or Professional with TerraGo toolbar works fine but has limitations. I can "save as" out of Acrobat Professional as either a TIFF or JPEG/JPEG2000, but no world file is created and resulting files are not georeferenced. It is possible, of course, to georeference the files in Arc, but I would like to find a way to work with these files directly in Arc without the additional steps of file conversion and georeferencing. Is this possible? and if not please add it to the list of functions that should be addressed. This is a huge and valuable dataset that should be accessible to Arc users.

At least, add a feature to add a PDF to ArcMap please. I would like to be able to add PDFs to ArcMap just like I can add JPGs or TIFFs.