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I receive a lot of PDF maps (vector, image, with georeference and without) and I am having to convert them to an image file before I can add them to ArcMap and georeference.

I can't see any obvious out-of-the-box utility that would allow me to add and georeference a PDF directly without having to convert to an image file first.

Any ideas?

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Yeah, this is a pain. How about scripting/batching the conversion of PDF to tiff, like some of the methods in this SO post? – Chad Cooper Feb 27 '13 at 15:08
We convert PDF to DWG then import them - then geo-reference them to know locations. – Mapperz Feb 27 '13 at 15:35
Similar solutions can be found here. – ccn Feb 27 '13 at 17:02
Thanks. That will work for vector but most PDFs I get are image PDFs, scans, etc. Still, I am looking for a plain easy solution - just add ANY pdf to map as data. – Jakub Feb 27 '13 at 17:12
We Export Raster PDF's to Tiff and then georeference the tif. Then digitize or vecotorize the image. – Mapperz Feb 27 '13 at 20:43

TerraGo Publisher currently has a ArcGIS toolbar that does this for a GeoPDF.

There is currently an ArcGIS Ideas link about adding GeoPDFs into ArcMap.

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I can't find pricing info on their page. I bet its quite a bit. Also don't see the "Add PDF to Map" feature there. Does it only add geopdf ar any pdf to ArcMap? – Jakub Feb 27 '13 at 14:44
I just downloaded a trial of TerraGo, and tried to add a standard PDF to ArcMap (hoping that I could then georeference it). Unfortunately I received an error message about it not being a GeoPDF. – Stephen Lead Apr 24 '14 at 10:15

A new PDF to TIFF tool has been added to ArcGIS 10.3 for Desktop:

Exports an existing PDF file to a Tagged Image File Format (TIFF). If the PDF has georeference information, the TIFF can be a GeoTIFF. These TIFFs can be used as a source for heads-up digitizing and viewing in ArcMap. Both GeoPDF and ISO standards of georeferenced PDFs are supported.

You will still be doing a conversion step but at least the georeferencing within your PDF should be honoured to save you needing to do that.

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I use GIMP 2.8 Open pdf and export as tif or whatever you perfer.

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We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

Same, with GhostScript on command line or GSView if I'm feeling lazy. You loose georeference and layers (on/off) though it's not usually difficult to georeference an image. I would like to see it in ArcMap with layering and georeference but wouldn't pay any more for it. There are utilities that will convert PDF to DXF if you want some vectors out... georeference is almost the same and you can select the vectors and copy/paste. – Michael Miles-Stimson Mar 16 '15 at 5:56

ArcGIS 10.3 has a PDF to TIFF conversion tool, but it doesn't work on USGS geoPDF files. You get a mostly white image with some junk data from the PDF.

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This is largely a duplicate of PolyGeo's answer. Note there was bug (BUG-000084869) in 10.3 with the introduction of the tool that did not recognize GeoPDF ver 2.3. This was supposedly corrected with 10.3.1, and may be the cause of the issue you describe. – Chris W Jun 26 '15 at 21:02
That can't be it because I'm using 10.3.1 – KMWPJPL Jun 29 '15 at 17:48
It's emblematic of what is wrong with ESRI. ArcGIS really should support GeoPDF, but ESRI has simply chosen not to add the functionality. After 4 years they finally added a kludgy workaround that converts a GeoPDF to raster, and even that doesn't work. It's like there's not a single person at ESRI asking why they do the things they do. – KMWPJPL Jul 1 '15 at 22:55

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