[VIDEO] Exporting an ArcGIS Map for Use in the PDF Maps App

Here's a short and simple video on how to export an ArcGIS map for use in the PDF Maps app. It was put together by the Smith College Spatial Analysis Lab. It uses a live USGS topo basemap streaming from Esri and the geospatial PDF export feature of ArcGIS.

See the SmithGIS Vimeo page here http://vimeo.com/79337719

Does anyone know what the

Does anyone know what the oldest version of ArcMap is that allows you to export a georeferenced PDF map for use in Avenza? I used to do it on 10.3 when i was in school but my work only has 9.2 and 9.3. Can it be done on 9.3? if not how current will I have to go to gain this feature so that I can make my own PDF maps? Thanks!

re: Does anyone know what the

Hi David, according to the ArcGIS 9.3 help, exporting a geospatial PDF is possible.

Reduce file size

Another good trick if you have Adobe Acrobat Pro is reducing the file size of the exported PDF. Just open your PDF in Pro and Save As Other: 'Reduced Sized PDF' and it can drop tons of MB on large maps without losing quality (if the original size isn't ridiculously big).

georeferencing using Arcmap

Hello, I followed your video on top -using Arcgis (10.3) to export a pdf document. But PDFmap app complains" map isn't georeferenced" #I know it is georeferenced, because I made sure georeferencing box was check in the export advance tab. Any other recomendations, can I send you the file I exported and you can check for yourself?

re: georeferencing using Arcmap

Hi there, please contact support@pdfmaps.com with the issue you're having and we'll try to help.


Wow... what a great post! That helped me a lot. Very easy to navigate and use.

Zoom Layers On/Off?

If I format my map in ArcGIS to have layers that turn on or off at specific zoom levels, will I be able to use that feature in Avenza PDF Maps on my iPad?

re: Zoom Layers On/Off?

Hi Judy, currently our app doesn't support dynamic zoom levels that can change layer visibility.

Unable to georefrerence a map

Hi there, I've used PDF Maps for a while now and had no issues to create my custom maps with Arcgis (10.3). But since I've changed my computer, it seems I'm not able to do so, even by doing the same way. When I open the pdf map with Adobe, I get an error message telling me there is an error with the document and contact the author of the oducment (it's me duh!). When I get the map on the iPad in PDF Maps, I have no location available..Oh and the file size is quite small too (500-600 ko) Is ther a specific projection needed that I'm missing or maybe the version of Arcgis is too recent? Thank you

re: Unable to georefrerence a map

Hi Patrick, is the "Export Map Georeference Information" option enabled in ArcMap? What projection are you using? If Adobe Acrobat can't read the georeferencing, it can produce an error, meaning the source of the error is coming from ArcMap.

PDF optmization

Keeping up with trends, techniques, what works and what doesn’t is a tough job, but lists like this make it so much easier! Thanks for including all interesting points & videos to make us aware.

UTM UPS format on iPad

During a recent navigation exercise I noticed a colleague had access to UTM UPS coordinates using Avenza PDF Maps on his tablet. Why is this format choice not currently available on the iOS version of the app?

re: UTM UPS format on iPad

For both Android and iOS, the available display coordinate formats are identical. Perhaps you can explain the difference you were seeing to our support team support@avenza.com.

Multiple map pages in single pdf file

Does each map have to be exported to a separate pdf, or can the application correctly work with multiple map pages combined into a single pdf, such as a map book exported from ArcGIS using Data Driven Pages?

re: Multiple map pages in single pdf file

PDF Maps currently doesn't support multiple map pages contained in a single geospatial PDF. So you will have to export single map pages and have them loaded into PDF Maps. However, we do have a feature request filed to handle multiple page PDFs. No timeline given on development of that capability yet. Thanks for your question.

When will PDF Maps start to recognize the Web Mercator Projectio

The Web Mercator Projection is the most popular online project in the world. It is the same mapping projection that Google Maps uses as well as Bing Maps. When I export a mxd file to pdf using the tools in ArcGIS, I found that while I was in Web Mercator, the geoinfomation could not be loaded in the pdf document. When I exported using a state projection or UTM projection in ArcMap, the geoinformation was loaded into the pdf document.

re:When will PDF Maps start to recognize the Web Mercator Projec

Hi Jeff,

This may be a bug in ArcMap. I just tested with MAPublisher to export a map as a Web Mercator Projection (known in MAPublisher as "WGS 84/Pseudo-Mercator" EPSG: 3857), opened it in Adobe Acrobat and the coordinates and geospatial information is available. I tried exporting a document in ArcMap 10.2 that was in "WGS 1984 Web Mercator (auxiliary sphere)", opened it in Adobe Acrobat and there was no geospatial information. I would try and follow up with Esri tech support to see if there's more information about why it's not working.

Thanks, Avenza team

Does anyone know if this has

Does anyone know if this has been resolved? I'd love to export my WGS84 topos to work in the PDFMaps app. Some recreational end users become confused when comparing multiple datums/projections. Much safer to be consistent across the board. Either way I love the app. My only suggestions are to fix this (even if it is on ESRI's end) and possibly making it so that the USGS quads can be fluidly stitched together. Thank you.

Make your paper size large

Make your paper size large enough to accommodate the scale ie.. image of a city right click on the image in the table of content while in data view> select zoom to raster resolution>( let’s say it ends up being 1:3,253round it up to 4,000). Then switch from data view to layout view (typically used when printing a map) >right click in the open area of the layout view off of the paper> select page and print setup…> uncheck the block next to Use Printer paper settings> change the height and width>click ok. When setting your page size in layout view the paper may need to be as big as 100x100 or bigger is ok too. Zoom and pan what you want to fit on the paper you can make it bigger or smaller depending on your needs. To check and see if you are on the right track click the 1:1 on the layout toolbar this is what it will look like at best when in the tablet. Once it is set the way you want or need, ensure that the scale at the top still says 1:4,000 > click file> export map > change output to PDF. In the settings tab General Resolution set to 300dpi with the output image quality (Resample Ration) set at best or Ration1:1. Format tab Destination Color space: RGB unless you don’t want color. Uncheck Compress Vector Graphics. Image Compression: None> All the rest of the options unchecked. Pages tab do nothing. Security this is where you can enable PDF Document Security by setting permissions. Advanced tab set the Layers and Attributes to None but check the box that says Export Map Georeference information. Type the name you want the file to be saved as and click Save. This may take some time and it is recommended to not do anything else with your computer if it is a lot of data while the export completes. Once ArcGIS has completed the export you can then bring it in to Acrobat pro and file save as reduced file size and it will maintain the geospatial reference but make the file size much smaller. Some resolution maybe lost but for the most part maintains. Hope this helps Ask questions in the comments and I'll try to check it out often enought to answer your questions.

re: Output to Ipad

Hi Chris,

In ArcMap, you don't need to set a 32000 max resolution, that may make the file size too large to handle. You could try a higher resolution (360 or 720). Also, depending on your data, you may want to try a larger scale (perhaps 1:30000) and a larger layout.

PDF Maps can import GeoTIFF as well as JPG accompanied by a reference file.


Output to Ipad

I set up to 32000(max) resolution and try to have the basemap at "PDF map". ArcMap I set 1:65000. It is hard for me to zoom in to see those details. Is PDF map recognize TIFF file or other probably large ones that can include more info?

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