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What is GeoPDF or Geospatial PDF?

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Geospatial PDF is a map in a PDF format, which has some additional helpful info built into it, including:

  • georeference - meaning the map knows which chunk of Earth it has printed on it
  • route tracks (e.g. a trail)
  • points of interest
  • labels, highlighting the above or other important info
  • etc.

For the geeks out there: geospatial PDF is a generic term whereas GeoPDF is a trademark of one of the pioneers in this space (no pun intended), TerraGo.

Why do I care?

You can download a Geospatial PDF file to your mobile device and use one of the apps to interact with the map to view your location, record GPS tracks, add placemarks, and find places.

You don't have to have any other mapping software on your device.

Why wouldn't I just use a GPS file?

You certainly can but the benefit of GeoPDF is you don't have to worry about caching any map data for off-the-grid use - just download the geospatial PDF and go. 

What apps can I use with GeoPDF files?

PDF Maps by Avenza

Please use this form to let us know if you know of any other app that supports geospatial PDF's.