Can you convert layers from a PDF into GIS or CAD layers to be add to the Map ?

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02-03-2022 08:06 AM
PROBERT68
Frequent Contributor

Hi,

Do any of you had luck from one of your employee  give you a PDF of picture that has drawings such as CAD, box, or anything that they wanted to be add to the map.

For example, if you have a CAD drawings on a PDF and you need to convert it into GIS or CAD layers  ?

Is that Possible for me to do that ?

Can do this in ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Desktop ,  etc ...

14 Replies
PROBERT68
Frequent Contributor

Good to know !!!

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PROBERT68
Frequent Contributor

I wish everyone here a big thank you !  I decide to go online and had the PDF convert to DWG , because I have to get this done soon.  You can go to this online Zamzar - video converter, audio converter, image converter, eBook converter   which does that for you. You would have to find it there and upload it and it then does download for you.  Just remember only up to 50 MB for free to use it.

 

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ThomasHamill
Occasional Contributor II

@PROBERT68, while these are outside of the Esri suite, in the past I've had luck with either CADSoftTools (https://cadsofttools.com/pdf-to-dwg-online/) or easyPDF (https://easypdf.com/pdf-to-autocad) to go from PDF to .dwg and I then use the Spatial Adjustment tools in ArcMap to extract the geometry I want for output to either .shp or a feature class.

It's worth noting that some PDFs retain the actual vector linework of a CAD drawing (.dwg) depending on how the PDF was generated.  If this is the case, the vector linework is it's own layer in the PDF and one of the above tools should work great.  However, if creation of the PDF involved a scan of a paper plan (like if the CAD .dwg was first printed out and later run through a scanner), then it very likely is rendered just as a raster in the PDF, making extraction of vector linework more difficult without a little intermediate raster feature extraction/classification as part of the process.  If it's the latter, you may just end up have better luck digitizing the lines you need.

One more thing—a colleague recently recommended this tool:  https://mygeodata.cloud/converter/geopdf-to-shp
I haven't given it a whirl yet, so can't confirm it's effectiveness, but I plan to try it next time in lieu of my old process which used CADSoftTools or easyPDF.

Kindest Regards,

t
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PROBERT68
Frequent Contributor

So you cannot actually convert PDF To shapefile if it has enable a tool ? Is it the only way to do is do them online that does convert to shapefiles or CAD Files , correct ?

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ThomasHamill
Occasional Contributor II

@PROBERT68, I haven't tried a tool that does it yet, so short answer is no.

However, I still have yet to try the one a colleague recommended (https://mygeodata.cloud/converter/geopdf-to-shp) which suggests it goes straight from PDF to shapefile.

I think it's rare that a PDF would retain the spatial reference information of vector linework upon a print/export, so I've often still had to use the spatial adjustment tool and known benchmarks to georeference the linework I extract from the PDF.

Also, I omitted this in my last response, but I'm aware that Adobe Illustrator can pull linework out of a PDF and export as either .dwg (maybe even .kmz too—it's been a while).

Hope this helps.

Kindest Regards,

t
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