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How to create vector shapes by tracing?

Question asked by hlees93 on Oct 27, 2016
Latest reply on Oct 27, 2016 by dafiter

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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