Geospatial PDFs and Google Earth

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by wbbnm, Aug 25, 2017.

  1. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    In playing with Avenza on my smart phone I just discovered that pdf map files have georeferencing information. At least all the ones I tested do.

    I imagine I am the last one in the world to discover this.

    Anyway I was wondering if there is anyway to convert these to kmz files so they can be made Custom maps on a Montana.

    I normally open the pdf, grab a screen dump, save it as a jpg, load it into Google Earth and then go thru the unpleasant job of georeferencing the image. Then I create a kmz file, load it into Basecamp and send the kmz to the Montana.

    I made a feeble attempt to load a pdf into Google Earth using Add Image Overlay with no luck.

    Obviously if I switched to the smart phone for navigation, this problem would go away. But I really like the Montana better than the phone for navigation.
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  2. mcnut

    mcnut Long timer

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  3. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    it's pretty easy to convert it to jpg with x2img pro, geo reference it with locus (built in tools) , then export it to the Garmin if it allows usb-otg, or Bluetooth the kmz from the phone to whichever computer you're using to move things to the Montana.

    georeferencing isn't painful with good tools. :-)
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  4. ramz

    ramz Professional Trail Rider Supporter

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    I've read several versions of converting-jpg-to-img and they all have a step where you have to manually geo-reference the picture. For geo-referenced pdfs, that step has already been done, so why isn't there a two-step process - open geo-referenced pdf then save as an img file? Is there an existing feature of some Adobe professional app that does this? Or some other app?

    We shouldn't have to manually do what is already provided by the file format.

    :ricky
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  5. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    My point exactly.

    I did play with the calibration on Locus and conceptually I can see where it would be better than Google Earth. But I need a lot of practice and I didn't see any way I could export the finished product. But I believe it is there and I will keep looking.

    I did find a web site that claimed they could convert pdf to kmz but when I tried it, I wasn't offered the option of creating a kmz when I entered a pdf file type.

    https://mygeodata.cloud/converter/pdf-to-kmz
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  6. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    well, if the filemanager was that smart, yep. but they aren't unfortunately. for whatever reason every agency (usa) in the country loves pdfs, and georeferenced pdfs just make them all moist and woozy, so that's all they do. kmz is scary, sounds like soviet russia and dmz mixed together or something, and shrivels testicles. (my guess) so they stick with pdf because it sounds like panda-in-the-zoo safe. or something. it's stupid, i agree.

    x2img pro takes about thirty seconds on a quad core to render a 5-7mb jpg... which you can import to locus and reference (one minute.... which takes a minimum of 4 points to get a decent render to kmz (final render to kmz is thirty seconds again). if you add more points, you get a less squished/distorted kmz output. locus stores the kmz's you CREATE in the /sdcard/locus/mapitems directory, you can share them from that directory any time you like over bluetooth/wifi/otg-usb/sdcard/etc. if you want.

    i'm not advocating ONLY using locus, but hey, if you have a phone in your pocket, you can snap a jpg of ANY maps and reference it for your application or standalone of choice to use in minutes... instead of dicking around with basecamp and / or google earth (arrrrrrgh google earth actually sucks worse than basecamp at this) and you don't have to carry a laptop to do it. do it with a park map at the pavilion where you check in for camping. do it with a map you pick up at the store that has waterfalls, goat farms, or barbermotorsportspark layed out for you in fine color detail. it's REALLY HANDY for parks and stuff, as they change regularly and love providing folks with paper maps that are only kind of to scale ;-) but you can make it better by georeferencing.

    i guess i need to do a tutorial video of how fast it is....
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  7. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    here you go, super ugly video of how to do it FAST with any jpg you have, and where they live in the file system once you create them:


    again, if basecamp or Google earth were this fast and easy to do with any jpg I would use them.... but they aren't. even if you hate using apps for GPS stuff, at least do yourself a favor and learn how to do this so you can quickly and easily create kmz files anywhere in the world of screen shots , camera shots of park maps, PDFs, or whatever you like. ... and then send it to your standalone or whatever you're using for making purposes.

    it's just a tool... :-)
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  8. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    Success!

    I found a program that will convert geospatial pdf files into kmz files usable in Basecamp and Google Earth. So no more manual georeferencing for these.

    Thanks to inmate capcrazy for the info.
    Anyway the basic program is here:

    http://www.the-thorns.org.uk/mapping/

    In order to be able to read geospatial pdf and many other files, you need to install another software package called GDAL. There are instructions in the help material.

    As usual the program is not idiot intuitive and took a few minutes and a couple of emails from the developer to get working.

    I first tried the free download that works but puts red xs in your map. Since it worked, I paid the $21 to get the good one.

    I also got a virus warning when I tried to download the app. On the second try I chose to ignore the warning and have suffered no ill effects yet.
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  9. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    Windows only.... So you'll have to be carrying a laptop with you, and use basecamp, and... Well you get my drift :-(
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