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:

  • GeoTIFF
  • Geospatial PDF
  • JPEG zipped with reference files

We recommend using QGIS version 2.18 which is the most recent version as of November 2016. The functionality seemed unreliable in previous versions.

QGIS will write the reference information from one map on the layout to the file. Set the Reference Map in the Export Settings to select which map to base reference on. If there is more than one map in the layout, it is important to pick the correct reference map. For example, if an inset map is used as a reference map, the main map will not show the proper spatial referencing when used in the Avenza Maps app.

It isn't necessary to save a world file when exporting to PDF or TIFF because the spatial information is embedded in the file. JPEG files don't embed this information, so the Save World file check box should be checked to create an associated JPW file that stores coordinate information for the map.

To load a JPEG file into Avenza Maps, the exported JPEG needs to be zipped with a JPW file and either a WKT or PRJ file which indicate the coordinate system of the map. You can download one of these files by searching for the coordinate system on the Spatial Reference site. Change the filename so it matches your map’s filename. For example, you'll need to include Map.jpg, Map.jpw and Map.prj in a single ZIP file and import it into the Avenza Maps app.

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