How to create vector shapes by tracing?

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10-27-2016 09:43 AM
HannahLees1
New Contributor

I am new to GIS-- I have skills with adobe creative suite, and javascript, html, css.

I want to create a map with multiple layers using arcgis. Each layer will have shapes that represent a territory in Colorado associated with a particular utility company. I have PDF images of Colorado maps that have the shapes drawn onto them.

The goal is to have a user scroll over a particular place in CO and know which utility companies are available in that location.

My first thought was - "I will upload the pdf to Illustrator, trace the shapes, then upload the vector shapes into ArcGIS"

However, I tried this, and saved it in every format that illustrator allowed and I was not able to upload it. I KNOW that there is a way to do it with very expensive software, and I have tried saving it as a DWG and that does not work.

MY QUESTION:

How can I trace shapes in Arc GIS without having the coordinate data? Is there another software I can use (Without attached cost) that will allow me to create these vector files that I can then just put over the map of colorado in different layers?

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14 Replies
RickeyFight
MVP Regular Contributor

You could georeferance existing utilities with Georeferencing toolbar tools—Help | ArcGIS for Desktop 

HannahLees1
New Contributor

I am not sure I understand what that means or how to do it...

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RickeyFight
MVP Regular Contributor

Do you have Arcgis for desktop? 

Do you have a way to turn pdf into tiffs? 

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HannahLees1
New Contributor

No, I have the arcOnline-- my pdfs are not giving me an option to save as TIFF

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RickeyFight
MVP Regular Contributor

Here is the list of all files that can be uploaded 

Add layers—ArcGIS Online Help | ArcGIS 

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RickeyFight
MVP Regular Contributor

If you look at the link I added about adding layers it describes each type of layer that can be added. 

I was suggesting a .tiff before I knew that you did not have desktop. 

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HannahLees1
New Contributor

Thanks, but if I do not have desktop... how can I upload an image and georeference it?

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RickeyFight
MVP Regular Contributor

Hannah,

If you know where the boundaries are (assuming there are not a lot of features) you could create a layer on AGOL and draw it yourself. You would not have the pdf online to reference though. 

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LynnGionette
New Contributor II

You need adobe scrobat to save as a .tiff it will not let you  in adobe reader. Maybe you can take a screen capture and save that as a .tiff.  You can then georeference it and trace it!

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