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A series of maps that i'll be producing with English text and labels will need to be sent to a certified translator. I'll be exporting the maps from GIS as PDF format.

When the output PDFs were sent to the translators for the previous phase of the project, the cost of translation was high because the text on map PDFs could not be read into their language translation tools (i believe the type of software is called Computer-Aided Translation, or CAT), so the process was very labour-intensive, and was a slow process. With this in mind, the project team have identified how we provide geospatial items to the translation consultant as something to be improved on.

I've been told that if i could provide the map figures in XLIFF format or similar, then the text elements in the file can be picked up by the translation tool. My understanding is that an XLIFF is a specifically formatted .xml for the purpose of CAT. Given that maps do have text elements on them but are graphical outputs by their nature, i'm not sure how this would work.

Is there a way to convert PDF maps to XLIFF or another format that plays nice with CAT? Better yet, can a map be exported in a suitable format directly from GIS? I suspect that we will need to settle with a workaround and then reintegrate the translated textual elements within GIS.

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