Ask A Cartographer

pdf to arcview

October 24 2008 | 0 comments
Categories: Map Data

a data file exported to pdf, how can I load it back for viewing in ARCVIEW? Thank you.

Mapping Center Answer:

First, there is no direct support for reading PDF files with ArcGIS.  So, the only way to do this is a workflow that involves other software.  We posted a blog entry on migrating illustrator files into ArcGIS and the same workflow can be used on PDF files.  Note that you will only be getting geometry for the features and any attribution will have to be explicitly added in your workflow.

In your case, I would also guess that whoever made the PDF used GIS to make the map and likely has the data you want in a GIS-friendly format.  If in your shoes, I would push hard to get that dataset, including, if you have to, telling them that you're going to do what your're going to do with Illustrator and that process will degrade the information and you will still be citing the original map. Many organizations would rather give you their data than have you create a lesser edition of it and then associate their name in the citation.

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