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Mapping a New World for the Digital Consumer: PDF Maps App Launches on iOS Opening Avenza Map Store

Avenza creates burgeoning online marketplace for map publishers as consumption of paper maps declines

Toronto, ON, November 1, 2011 – Avenza Systems Inc., producers of MAPublisher® cartographic software for Adobe® Illustrator® and Geographic Imager® geospatial tools for Adobe Photoshop®, is charting new territory in the mobile app space with its launch of the PDF Maps app and its opening of the Avenza Map Store on the Apple iOS platform, making it available to devices including the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. With the launch of the PDF Maps app, cartographers and map publishers now have access to a largely untapped audience of consumers that rely on smartphones and tablets as the consumption of paper maps continue to decline.

Appealing to a new generation of digital trailblazers and explorers, Avenza’s PDF Maps app is the first and only geospatial PDF reader available for consumer use and has already won praise from the International Map Trade Association (IMTA) for the “Best Use of New Technology and New Media.” The PDF Maps app supports a growing database of maps featuring tens of thousands of maps authored, distributed or sold by individual cartographers, established map publishers, and government agencies. The marketplace provides a new e-commerce venue that allows those in the industry to have access to more than 200 million Apple iOS users seeking information about specific maps.

Avenza’s PDF Maps app and Map Store offer a medium by which map content can be easily repurposed providing a valid revenue stream for map publishers in an era when the industry is losing its market to digital products with GPS functionality. Publishers can upload intelligent PDF maps or GeoTIFFs – with or without the aid of Avenza’s cartographic map software – eliminating the publisher’s need to reprint costly annual updates to paper maps. Pricing of each uploaded map is determined by publishers not Avenza Systems. Maps that are available for sale can be purchased through the Avenza Map Store much like how music, videos, and books are currently purchased through iTunes.

“A decade ago, people were still using paper maps such as Thomas Guides to find their way around locally, or stopping at gas stations to ask a local or purchase a map of tourist attractions. Today, as GPS devices become more prevalent in cars and smartphones, map publishers are being locked out of the digital market and finding it more and more difficult each year to connect with their audience,” said Ted Florence, President of Avenza Systems Inc. “Through Avenza’s Map Store, map publishers can compete in the digital space while having the added benefit of providing their customers with detailed information about a location other digital maps used by a specific GPS device or streaming map provider may not have.”

Since access to the PDF Maps app isn’t restricted by cell tower proximity or internet bandwidth availability, maps available in its store for use on the app reflect both local and global maps and accommodate specialized excursions for both terrestrial and nautical travel. Map publishers, specialized cartographers and even event planners who develop seasonal festivals and events designed around a specific locale can upload detailed geography listing points of interest or suggest particular routes. More than just a PDF map viewing tool, Avenza’s PDF Maps app provides customers the best of both worlds – a variety of interactive maps from established paper map publishers with interactive and GPS functionality of digital devices.

Currently, Avenza’s vast PDF Maps app library covering maps for domestic and international travel includes more than 55,000 USGS (United States Geological Survey) topographic maps organized by state and area. All maps available through the map store offer the following capabilities:

  • Access and load maps through iTunes File Sharing, Wi-Fi or cellular network to read maps anytime
  • Access and interact with saved maps without the need for a live network connection (offline)
  • View your location on the PDF map using the built-in GPS device or via Wi-Fi triangulation (GPS works even when network bandwidth is not available)
  • Find coordinate of any location in the map, including the ability to type in a coordinate to search
  • Display coordinates as Lat/Long (WGS84), Lat/Long (Map Default), Northing/Easting, or Military Grid Reference System (MGRS/United States National Grid (USNG)
  • Support for GeoTIFF files to create tiles similar to how a geospatial PDF is tiled
  • Map rendering in higher resolution
  • Overlay Google search results
  • Add waypoints and collect/record information about locations, including photos
  • Measure distances and areas
  • Open current map extents in the Maps app
  • Quickly view, zoom and pan maps using gestures (pinch, drag and flick, double tap)
  • Change pin colors, position and label names


PDF Maps is available now on the iTunes App Store free of charge. For more information about PDF Maps, visit the Avenza website at Pricing of each map is set by the publisher and free maps remain free to users through the PDF Map app.

More about geospatial PDF

Geospatial PDF is a PDF document that contains geospatial information such as real world locations, a coordinate system and GIS attributes. Geospatial PDF documents can be created in GIS applications such as ArcGIS, MapInfo and Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop with the aid of the MAPublisher and Geographic Imager plugins, respectively. The geospatial data contained in a geospatial PDF document may be accessed and used (for example to locate a specific point or measure distances) without the aid of any additional plugins, using tools found natively within Adobe Reader and Acrobat.

More about MAPublisher and Geographic Imager

MAPublisher for Illustrator is powerful map production software for creating cartographic-quality maps from GIS data. Developed as a suite of plug-ins for Adobe Illustrator, MAPublisher leverages the superior design capabilities of this leading graphic design software. Geographic Imager is powerful software for working with spatial imagery in Adobe Photoshop that leverages the superior image editing capabilities of this raster-based image-editing software.

More about Avenza Systems Inc.

Avenza Systems Inc. is an award-winning, privately held corporation that provides cartographers and GIS professionals with powerful software tools for making better maps. In addition to software offerings for Mac and Windows users, Avenza offers value-added data sets, product training and consulting services. For more information visit the Avenza website at

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