I have a PDF file with both a basemap and a large number of paths on top of it, which I've edited in Adobe Illustrator.

How should I separate the basemap and add the paths as polygon features to a feature layer in ArcGIS Pro?

  • The product MapPublisher is a purchased way by Avenza avenza.com/mapublisher/features (have used this in the past.)
    – Mapperz
    Jul 13, 2021 at 21:41
  • For starters you need to know coordinate/projection information for your pdf map - some way to tie the picture to its location on Earth. Jul 14, 2021 at 15:18
  • What have you tried? You should be able to see and control the Object/layer list box in Illustrator (I don't remember what the list is called) and export groups of objects to different files.
    – danak
    Jul 16, 2021 at 16:14

1 Answer 1


Answering my own question as I figured it out somewhat well.

As I mentioned, the map was quite complex and slow to edit, as it included both the basemap (with 1000+ paths) and the paths that I wanted to export in a same file.

I hand-picked each and every path to be exported, and separated them onto four different layers, depending on the type. I also separated the city's borders from the base map to be used as a control point.

Then, I deleted the original basemap from the file, and exported it as a DXF file, which I then imported to ArcGIS Pro as a CAD layer. I georeferenced the layer against the city's WMS map using corners from the city's borders at opposite ends as control points.

I however couldn't figure out how to convert the CAD feature layer to a normal feature layer to enable editing of the feature attributes, so I ended up exporting the whole map as a KML file to Google My Maps (which would have been its final destination anyways) and did the final editing and classification there.

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