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Poor man's workaround, GeoPDF to GeoTiff

Question asked by Tift_Tax on Oct 24, 2014
Latest reply on Feb 24, 2016 by dknolan

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

 

 

SO, here's what I did

 

Tools needed:

Adobe Acrobat or Acrobat Reader

Virtual PDF printer such as Adobe PDF

Adobe Photoshop (or a heavy-duty imaging program)

ArcMap

Plenty of RAM

Plenty of time

 

For single GeoPDFs:

1 - Open USGS GeoPDF in Acrobat

1a - Print to a virtual PDF printer

      - this "flattens" the GeoPDF layers, BUT strips out the georeferencing

1b - Open the new PDF in Acrobat and Export as TIFF

1c - To remove the "collar" around the topo map, crop it in Photoshop (the collar contains white border, legend, other text, and graphics)

1d - Load TIFF into ArcMAP and manually georeference using tools

 

To mosaic several GeoPDFs:

1 - Open USGS GeoPDF in Acrobat

1a - Print to a PDF printer such as Adobe PDF

      - this "flattens" the GeoPDF layers, BUT strips out the georeferencing

1b - Open the new PDF in Acrobat and Export as TIFF

2 - Use Photoshop to mosaic multiple TIFFs, saving the master image in PSD format (Photoshop's native format)

    - crop each TIFF to remove non-image areas (such as the white "collar")2a - Save final mosaic as TIFF

3 - Load mosaic into ArcMap and georeference

 

A Photoshop TIFF mosaic of our 270sqMI (698sqKM) county @250dpi is only 407megs; it contains 10 converted GeoPDFs

 

NOTE -

I prefer to do mosaics in Photoshop because it has more flexibility if images need to be rotated to match edges of adjoining TIFFs

(& because I've been using Photoshop since 1989 )

 

Finally, send Jack Dangermond a letter asking why GeoPDF is not supported in ArcGIS Desktop

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