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Import GeoPDF Files

05-30-2012 04:04 AM
New Contributor II
Is there a way to import GeoPDF files and maintain the georeferencing inside? Or alternatively, is there a way to export GeoPDF files to Geotif files?

Bruce Burwell
GIS Analyst
Saudi Aramco
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4 Replies
Regular Contributor
I heard that Global Mapper will read GeoPDFs and export them with a world file as a GeoTiff or Imagine file which can be read by ArcMap. There is 2 weeks free trial with full functionality, so give it a try:)

Please, vote on this functionality at the Ideas site entry View GeoPDF Files in ArcMap
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Frequent Contributor
Google on geopdf to geotiff and you will find some useful information.  I can't vouch for any of these.

From my brief review of the results Global Mapper is a paid option.

There is a military extension which is unavailable to the general public.  See

There is an inexpensive program to do the conversion called G-Raster which started out to make USGS topos available to Garmin GPS.  See

GDAL 1.8 and later supposedly provides the ability to use geopdfs by rasterizing using the georeferencing information.  See  There are even plugins to make this easier.

Avenza extension for use in Illustrator; an expensive approach.  See

TerraGo geopdf toolbar and extension for use in ArcGIS, another expensive approach.

I found the following interesting reading, coming from the USGS and specifically addressing the issue of using their geopdf topos as geotiffs in GIS programs:

Nevertheless, displaying a symbolized quadrangle map in a GIS environment can be useful for many things. Below are some partial solutions to the problem of importing a US Topo into GIS software. The USGS expects that more and better solutions will become available as the US Topo program grows and software developers see opportunities in the product. There are historical analogies to this situation in other USGS products. In 1994 the USGS decided to distribute digital raster graphics (DRGs) in GeoTIFF, even though it was a new and unimplemented format. When the first DRGs were created in 1995 hardly any consumer software, including the major commercial GISs, could take advantage of the geospatial tags. By creating over 50,000 public domain GeoTIFF maps, the USGS helped drive the acceptance and widespread implementation of the format.
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New Contributor


You can import GeoPDFs into Golden Software's Surfer program and maintain the referencing. You can then export it to a GeoTIFF, and still retain the referencing in the TIF file. There is a free trial version.

Kari Dickenson

Golden Software

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New Contributor III

To quote @TimSpivey:

"The Federal government, in its infinite wisdom, is decreeing that we should all move to GIS.

The USGS, in its infinite wisdom, is releasing its topo maps in GeoPDF format.

ESRI, in its infinite wisdom, has not built GeoPDF support into ArcGIS Desktop.

The G-Raster program, which is supposed to be able to convert GeoPDF to GeoTIFF, cannot do it in its current version (6.3) as of today's date

Adobe Acrobat X Full Version cannot export to GeoTIFF"

I know your question was in 2012 and the above saying was in 2014, which makes them rather old in technological years. You would think with all the stuff ArcGIS Pro and ESRI can do these days, they could have at least one tool that can import a GeoPDF, or a even a regular PDF. I know I can easily convert a pdf to a jpg or png on windows or mac, but can't ESRI also do that?

On that note, I need to get back to learning about how to convert a GeoPDF to a proper .kmz file that properly works with Garmin, turkey season is upon us ha!


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