Avenza Maps app

Best Practices for Processing and Importing Maps into the Avenza Maps App

Avenza Maps is capable of importing and displaying georeferenced maps in several different formats. The app processes a map by rasterizing and tiling it on import. The speed and result of processing will vary depending on the type of file used and the size and dimensions. We'll discuss the types of files allowed and the advantages of each.

Exporting from QGIS to Avenza Maps

In the latest release of QGIS, it's possible to export maps from the Print Composer that is compatible with the Avenza Maps app. The Print Composer tool in QGIS is used for creating map layouts. In previous QGIS versions, it would export maps without spatial reference information meaning maps would need to be georeferenced post export to be compatible with Avenza Maps. As of version 2.16, it's possible to export files with an embedded spatial reference. QGIS can export the following formats that can be read by the Avenza Maps app:

Difference Between Lines and Tracks When Exporting from Avenza Maps

There are two methods of exporting GPS tracks from Avenza Maps in KML format: as a line and as a track. Which option to select depends on the intended purpose. Lines are much simpler than tracks and store only the position of each vertex in the line as latitude longitude and elevation. Tracks contain a complete description of how the path moves through space including the position at one-second intervals, the time at which each position was recorded, the compass angle of the heading, and the velocity. Lines take up much less storage space than tracks. To switch between exporting to Lines or Tracks, select Track Export in the Export Settings screen.

Export Settings screen
(Click for larger version)
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Exporting Photos From Avenza Maps For Use In ArcGIS

Avenza Maps Pro users can export layers to shapefile with associated photos. ArcGIS can display these photos using either hyperlinks or HTML popups. This post explains how to export your photos from Avenza Maps and display them in ArcGIS.

First, download and unzip these utilities. The general process for exporting and displaying photos is as follows:

  1. Export a shapefile with photos from Avenza Maps
  2. Unzip the exported files to your computer
  3. Open ArcGIS
  4. Add the shapefile to the map
  5. Save the map in the same folder as the shapefile
  6. Run the “Photo Shapefile Converter” tool
  7. Set the layer to display a hyperlinked photo and/or
  8. Set the layer to show an HTML popup


Transferring Maps Between iOS Devices Using AirDrop in Avenza Maps

It is possible to move an imported map from one device with Avenza Maps to another device using AirDrop - a technology for directly transferring files from one Apple device to another and is available on the following:

  • iPhone 5 or later
  • iPad Pro
  • iPad (4th generation) or later
  • iPad mini or later
  • iPod touch (5th generation) or later
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