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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

TerraGo releases OpenGeoPDF technology

November 25th, 2014 by Susan Smith

In a conversation with George Demmy, CTO of TerraGo, GISCafe Voice learned about the release of OpenGeoPDF technology, now available with TerraGo Publisher for ArcGIS, TerraGo Composer and TerraGo Toolbar.



OpenGeoPDF is the next-generation of GeoPDF® technology. Demmy says that the release “has generated a lot more buzz than anticipated.”

It combines spatial database features and application logic within intelligent maps, which leverage GIS to enable radically new customer workflows and deliver map and data-driven applications to anyone, anywhere. It integrates with the OCC (Open Geospatial Consortium) GeoPackage.

“We acquired GeoSymbol a couple of years back,” says Demmy. “What Geospatial doesn’t do a good job of is explaining what it does to the rest of the world.”

TerraGo began building interactive geospatial products, and GeoPDF is a self-contained familiar IT platform that appeals to those that work with paper maps.

“We wanted to return to that as a central focus of the company,” says Demmy. TerraGo was not focused on data interoperability but still wanted to deliver workflows that more customers could access.

“The OGC GeoPackage has promulgated a new standard, and can attach files, photos and other data as a GeoPackage,” says Demmy. The integration of OGC GeoPackage into TerraGo allows for cross-platform interoperability and geospatial intelligence sharing across the entire enterprise and different organizations.

This allows users to share portable containers of geographic information in an open format. As OpenGeoPDF is a technology initiative within TerraGo, it allows a variety of open standards and IT practices to deliver workflows.

The OGC GeoPackage recognizes SQL Light, a widely adopted platform used on all cellphones and many browsers. It builds on tops of SQL Light as its existing IT platform, and allows users to take geospatial information and open it in an IT environment. It can be used within the military, governments of all kinds, and other agencies, disseminating information to those who are non-technical users as well as technical users.

“We’re at a tipping point where we can adopt what the community thinks is a good idea,” says Demmy. “We can mash up data with Open Source, and create apps that anyone can use.”

Demmy adds that GIS hasn’t been able to slip out of its niche because of the tools used for communication. “We developed the first generation of GeoPDF software because we found that by adding geo to document workflow, it transformed static maps into interactive applications that anyone could use. However, we could only go so far within the confines of ISO 32000 and PDF.  By integrating technologies, such as those which surround GeoPackage, we open up new possibilities for applications, workflows and collaboration. It’s this mashup of emerging technologies and open standards that we call OpenGeoPDF.”

One of the many benefits of the OpenGeoPDF approach is that GeoPDF maps with embedded feature attributes can be accessed, searched and extracted as an OGC GeoPackage, using any PDF-compatible software. OpenGeoPDF offers limitless, new possibilities for geospatial data interchange and creates much richer applications for end users. These applications leverage potentially hundreds of thousands of features and their attributes by simply using TerraGo Toolbar for Adobe Reader.

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Categories: 3D PDF, ArcGIS, ArcGIS Online, asset management, Big Data, cloud, conversion, data, developers, Esri, Esri UC 2014, field GIS, location based sensor fusion, location based services, location intelligence, mapping, mobile, OCG GeoPackage, OGC, spatial data, TerraGo

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