MAPublisher includes an extensive geodetic parameter database called the Geodetic Datasource. It contains all the latest updates from the widely used EPSG Geodetic Parameter Dataset maintained by the Geodesy Subcommittee of OGP (International Association of Oil and Gas producers) as well as custom systems maintained by Avenza. In addition, the MAPublisher Geodetic Datasource supports your custom definitions and allows you to import external WKT (Well-Know Text) and PRJ (Esri projection file) parameter files.

Over 3500 pre-defined coordinates systems are readily available for use in most cartographic projects. Even though the current list of systems is comprehensive, there may be instances where the end users may wish to add a brand new coordinate system to meet their particular needs, or perhaps to duplicate and modify an existing definition to change the units for example. A complementary Avenza Projections Guide is installed with MAPublisher. It describes all the projections and datum shifts methods supported by MAPublisher, to assist users in the process of creating or editing a coordinate system.

The default parameters installed with MAPublisher are stored within read-only XML database files referred to as the Geodetic Datasource (files named geodata.xml and avenza.xsp). The base data source files shipped with MAPublisher are installed in the Data Source Files folder at the following location:

Windows: C:\Program Files\Avenza\MAPublisher 10.7\Data Source Files

Mac: /Applications/Avenza/MAPublisher 10.7/MAPublisher Plug-In/Data Source Files


Custom definitions and parameters are saved or loaded from separate XML files that must always accompanied with a file named geocalc.xsd (when not present, this file can be copied from the Data Source Files folder).

The custom and read-only entries are organized into categories and sub-folders — users may create new folders, move entries or create short-cuts. That folder structure is saved in a view file (*.xvw).

When MAPublisher is uninstalled or a newer release is installed, an option will be given to backup the custom coordinates systems and view file (Windows only). The backup files can be found:

Windows: C:\ProgramData\Avenza\MAPublisher 10

Mac: /Applications/Avenza/MAPublisher 10.7/Data Source Backup

Load Custom Coordinate System

A geodetic datasource or coordinate system database can be loaded into MAPublisher, greatly extending the coordinate systems available for use. To load a geodetic database within MAPublisher, choose Load Custom Coordinate Systems from the MAP Views panel options menu.

The directory containing the XML file must also contain the file geocalc.xsd. This file can be found in the directory of the default geodata.xml file (see above). So the custom XML file can either be copied to the Data Source File directory prior to loading, or geocalc.xsd should be copied from there to the custom XML directory.

Any additional change will be saved into the loaded XML file.

Windows: C:\Program Files\Avenza\MAPublisher 10.7\Data Source Files

Mac: /Applications/Avenza/MAPublisher 10.7/MAPublisher Plug-In/Data Source Files

Edit Custom Coordinate System

MAPublisher includes an extensive geodetic parameter database. The contents of the Geodetic Datasource can be browsed or searched by using a search frame. Users can extend MAPublisher Geodetic Datasource to support an unlimited number of custom linear and angular units, ellipsoids, datums, datum shifts, and coordinate systems.

MAPublisher Custom Coordinate Systems Editor is accessed from the MAP Views panel options menu Edit Custom Coordinate Systems. Coordinate systems may also be edited/created from the Specify Destination Coordinate System dialog box (opened using the Specify button in MAP Views panel and import dialog boxes), but the other geodetic objects are only accessible through Edit Custom Coordinate Systems.


At the top of the Edit Custom Coordinate Systems dialog box, two directory paths are listed: the geodetic data source path and the custom data path.

information The geodetic data source file is protected (read-only). Any additions or modifications to coordinate systems are stored in a separate XML file called customsystems.xml.

On the left-hand side of the dialog box is the data source object folders. To expand a folder to see its subfolders, click the plus sign (Windows) or arrow (Mac) to the left of the category name. To see the entries at any particular level of category, click the category itself. When an object, folder or subfolder is selected, the data source objects list box to the right displays the information stored within each one. User defined coordinate system objects can be organized using drag-and-drop between folders. Columns can be resized and sorted alphabetically/numerically.  Right-click on a column header to show or hide it. Entries loaded from the main geodetic data source will be shown in black text, while entries from the custom data file will be shown in blue.

To create a new folder, click the New Folder button. A new folder will be titled "New Folder" by default and can be renamed. Subfolders can also be created using the same method. Only user-defined categories can be deleted using the Delete Folder button.

Changes are saved to customsystems.xml located in:

Windows: C:\ProgramData\Avenza\MAPublisher 10

Mac: /Applications/Avenza/MAPublisher 10.7/MAPublisher Plug-In/Data Source Files


The default XVW file (folder structure) is saved to customview.xvw, located in:

Windows: C:\ProgramData\Avenza\MAPublisher 10

Mac: /Applications/Avenza/MAPublisher 10.7/MAPublisher Plug-In

Create New Data Source Objects

In the Edit Custom Coordinate Systems dialog box, click the New Object button to create a new data source object. When creating new data source objects, the identification information and definition parameters need to be completed. Complete this information in the respective Identification and Definition tabs.


The Identification tab is used to name the object and associate identification codes with it (if applicable). It is important to enter an appropriate name for the object. The Remarks field can be used to add notes on a definition and is optional. The Identifiers list may be used to add identifying codes for an object that may come from other databases. The GC code is a unique identifier assigned by MAPublisher and should not be altered. To enter additional codes use the space below it. When using automation, the Issuer and Issuer code are used to identify coordinate systems. For more a complete list of EPSG codes, visit


The Definition tab is used to define the parameters of an object. Each object has parameters unique to it. Refer to the list below when creating new objects.

information Refer to the Avenza Projections Guide for more information on supported projections and their parameters as well as supported datum transformations methods.

Edit Objects

To edit a custom or user-defined object, click the Edit Object button . Edits may be made in the respective object editor dialog box. Alternatively, double-click an object to open the editor dialog box. When a data source object belonging to the master data set is selected, the Edit Object button  is disabled (because these objects are read-only). To modify an original object, create a copy of the object first then edit it.

Delete Objects

When a data source object belonging to the master data set is selected, the Delete Object button  is disabled. Only user-defined objects can be deleted.

Copy Objects

Any object can be copied. To create a copy of an object, select an object and click the Copy Object button . A dialog box will appear with "Copy of:" preceding the object name in the Name box.

Move Objects

Any user defined object can be moved. Drag-and-drop an object from the Data Source Objects List to a Data Source Object Folder. A dialog box will prompt you to move the object or to create a shortcut to it.

Load Coordinate System Definitions

In some instances, the coordinate system of an image is not listed in the geodetic data source or the reference file format does not support the coordinate system. In such cases, it may be useful to load custom coordinate system definitions. Where available, click Load Custom Coordinate System. MAPublisher can use the following coordinate system file formats: WKT definitions (.wkt), MapInfo MAP files (.map), MapInfo TAB files (.tab) and Esri projection files (.prj).

information When a coordinate system is loaded from a file (WKT or PRJ), it is added to the geodetic data source but not saved. If the loaded file matches an existing definition, the original definition will be used and the loaded definition will not be added. All new definitions are located at the top level of the appropriate category in the Coordinate Systems folder list (in either Geodetic or Projected). Before exiting Adobe Illustrator, be sure to save your geodetic data source if you wish to use the coordinate system definition again. This can be done through the Edit Custom Coordinate System option.


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Last updated: 2/14/2019