How to Georegister a PDF map?

This website gives pretty simple instructions for georegistering a PDF map. Unfortunately, these instructions are for Acrobat 9. I have Acrobat XI, and these instructions do not seem to match with the updated version. In fact, I think the new version may no longer have the ability to do this. If so, I just can’t figure it out.

Could anyone tell me how to do it with Acrobat XI, or point me toward a free program that does it? Thanks!

Do these newer instructions help?

Or, can you create/convert your shapefiles into geopdf with the free qgis tool?

The problem with the first link is that it says:

*You can create a geospatial PDF in one of these ways:

  • Opening a geospatially enabled TIFF (GeoTIFF) or JPEG 2000 file
  • Georegistering a PDF map or scan of geospatial data*

But it doesn’t say how to do the Georegistering. Which is strange, because that’s like saying “You can create a sandwich one of two ways: you can either open the fridge and grab a sandwich or you can make it yourself.” It doesn’t saying anything about how to actually georegister a pdf. I distinctly remember doing this with earlier versions of Acrobat, and it was quite easy. I can’t seem to figure it out on the newer version (or it’s no longer even possible). I can easily do this with Google Earth, but the problem is that GE only exports as a KMZ file, and I need a PDF.

The second link mentions Shapefiles. But, what I’m looking for is the ability to take a picture of a map, (even something crazy like this) or sometimes it isn’t a map, but rather it is overhead imagery of a particular area. I need to take that pdf or that picture (which I would just convert to pdf) and then georegister it so that I can use that imagery in a a GPS/Navigation app on my phone–specifically, Avenza. I can create these imagery overlays in GE, but they only export as KMZs. These work great in my Garmin, but that’s about it. I need to use the map in Avenza.

I think the georegistering ability was dropped. “Georegistering a PDF map or scan of geospatial data” is followed by directions in older tutorials. Newer tutorials still have the sentence but none of the directions.

I wish you luck. I chased this rabbit last week. I was looking for a way for my students to use Avenza without having to have ArcMap. Specifically I was looking for a way to create a Geo PDF from a free Google Earth coverage or screen shot. I couldn’t find anything. I ended up making like 15 maps for parks all across the city and just having the students download the map for the nearest park to them.

Your linked map isn’t even to scale? You would still need some coordinates and the datum and projection.

I haven’t tried it but now you got me interested. The USGS, US Topo website might get you some 1:24000 7.5 minute quads as a GeoPDF for free without any special programs. They might even have aerial photo coverage.

I know this doesn’t answer your question. This is only for people in the US, but thank you for for the light bulb moment. It’s not perfect, but it’s free.

To get a map use the “USGS Topo Viewer”. You can click on an area and choose the most recent 1:24000 quad ► Save it as a GeoPDF ► Customize the layers by turning on an off imagery and stuff ► You can “crop” the .pdf map down to a smaller size, but you can’t change the scale. You’re stuck at 1:24000. ► Save it ► Get it on your device (email it to yourself is easy) ► download it to the device and open it in Avenza.

Thank you for your post. Don’t mind that map. It isn’t actually what I’m after. I was just trying to show people who don’t understand the task, that the map doesn’t matter. I could georefernece anything. I could do that map and make it useful in my Garmin and be able to see how close I am to the nearest restroom, or what path will take me fastest to a particular ride, etc. I’ve done that for larger parks and even with a similar animated map of Rome back when Google Maps and smartphones weren’t a thing. I could use a Garmin Colorado and a map that I georeferenced as a KMZ in Google Earth.

Like you, I need to do this in PDF for use in Avenza now. If only I could find an app that would support graphical KMZ overlays, I’d be satisfied.

This was kind of the point in sharing the goofy map of the park. I need to take specific maps of an area for use in Avenza. It isn’t sufficient to just find an available pdf map to make use of. While I could find ready made maps, or even make some using app-specific topography, I need to use my own maps and imagery and georefernce it so that these particular maps can be used in a navigation app such as Avenza.

The layer and customization imagery? Can it be my own overlay or imagery? Can I overlay a picture of a map onto the USGS map and then save/export as a .pdf?
I thought of something similar to your suggestion above, using a different program and map database. But the program would only let me customize layers by adding lines, way points, and their own available icons and such. I need to overlay an entire map. If I could do that using the USGS, it would be nice to know and have. It wouldn’t help me for Poland and Germany necessarily, but it would be nice to have in my toolkit and would be useful in the future.

I’m starting to think Adobe realized the value of such a tool and purposefully left it out of Acrobat Pro. There is huge value in this. Consider back in 2008 or so, when a Garmin Oregon was 700-800 dollars (with maps), but only 150 bucks when purchased with zero maps. I saved a lot of money just making my own maps, instead of using theirs. The truth is, I didn’t necessarily do it to save money. That was just a pleasant consequence. I did it because their maps are not useful for my particular needs.