Welcome to GISWeekly! The act of hitching your wagon to a star has got to be a crapshoot in a lot of cases, unless that star happens to be Adobe Reader. Adobe Reader is installed on over 700 million PCs and other devices around the world, which has earned it the de facto standard distinction for document exchange.
Those vendors who hitch themselves to the Adobe star may have a good chance of also becoming de facto standards. This is the objective of TerraGo, a vendor that has set about setting a standard for electronic geospatial document publishing and exchange worldwide. With their new GeoPDF Toolbar, they plan to institute a type of “publishing interoperability.” Read about TerraGo's new GeoPDF Toolbar in this week's Industry News.
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Susan Smith, Managing Editor
Announcing GeoPDF Toolbar
by Susan Smith
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Those vendors who hitch themselves to the Adobe star may have a good chance of also becoming de facto standards. This is the objective of TerraGo, a vendor that has set about setting a standard for electronic geospatial document publishing and exchange worldwide. With their new GeoPDF Toolbar, they plan to institute a type of “publishing interoperability.”
Like Adobe, TerraGo is focused on the non-GIS user. I spoke with Phil Lee and James Davis at GITA 29 this year about their then-upcoming release of the new GeoPDF Toolbar, which will allow Adobe Reader users to export data from GeoPDF files to GIS systems via the ESRI Shapefile format.
This allows Adobe Reader users in the field or at the desktop to add redlines, comments and markups to geospatially enabled GeoPDF files and then export them back into the original GIS system. “Our new GeoPDF Toolbar will allow any authorized user with Adobe Reader to make redlines and comments onto a GeoPDF that has been enabled for GeoMarks. These markups can be exported as Shapefiles and imported back into any GIS system or other GeoPDF files,” explained Davis. “GeoMarks requires the GeoPDF author to license TerraGo Technologies GeoEnable software and Adobe Acrobat Professional or Adobe LiveCycle Reader Extension Server.”
Readers may be familiar with TerraGo's flagship product, MAP2PDF, used to export data from geospatial information applications to a georegistered PDF with layers and object feature attributes. According to Lee and Davis, GeoPDF offers access to everybody else in the enterprise who need to access geospatial data for mainstream business applications. The core of traditional GIS is still aimed at high end GIS users, even if they provide a product for larger user bases. In contrast, TerraGo's history serves it well - it has worked with non-GIS professionals for many years so they know that market well. They can also help GIS professionals utilize and unlock the great “treasure trove” of geospatial data they've been building. “Most enterprises have been collecting GIS information over the last 10 or 20 years,” Davis remarked. “The challenge is to get all the professional data from the GIS pros out to their enterprise, and not just in 2D maps.”
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Now the GeoPDF Toolbar takes this one step further for ESRI users by allowing for GeoPDF files to be used and distributed in connected or disconnected format, and lets users view maps, turn layers off and an, display coordinates, query attributes, do GPS tracking and redlining, markups and Geonotes. GeoPDF has a reader enablement function to allow readers to view or make markups as the case may be. Files must be reader enabled before readers can markup and comment on the files. There are also comment and drawing tools such as note, polygon, cloud and stamp tools.
The export to Shapefile functionality allows GIS professionals to integrate redlines, markups and GeoNotes back into the enterprise's work flow and update geospatial data with the latest information available. The ability to be able to pull notes and updates back into the GIS really improves overall efficiency for both field and GIS personnel. Since users are not changing the underlying GIS data files, but adding markups to the GeoPDF map document, the integrity of the original data is maintained.
The GeoPDF Toolbar is quite remarkable in that it looks and feels exactly like an ESRI Shapefile so that adding markups and comments to the GeoPDF is an intuitive process for the user familiar with the ESRI Shapefile format.
TerraGo previously announced MAP2PDF for Geomedia and Digital Cartographic Studio for government use primarily, which has the same capabilities as GeoPDF Toolbar, except it is optimized for the Intergraph environment.
Several TerraGo customers have added geospatial tools with a system of linked GeoPDFs and real-time external database updates, in order to create extensive atlas products using GeoPDFs.
Top News of the Week
NMT Corporation has introduced MapAgile for ArcGIS which was designed to provide greater ease of use in navigating and displaying data presented in applications based on ArcGIS Engine and ArcMap.
Geospatial applications, like ESRI's ArcGIS Engine and ArcMap, have become increasingly important and widely used tools to help organizations integrate resources, track assets and assist in decision making processes. While these applications provide powerful tools for data management and the visualization of information, they can be daunting to learn and difficult to navigate for the casual user.
MapAgile is a set of configurable tools incorporated as a plug-in to applications based on ArcGIS Desktop or ArcGIS Engine. The tools provide greater flexibility and ease-of-use for accessing and querying data displayed by either application. MapAgile is easy to install and economically priced.
ARCADIS, the international consulting and engineering company, has been selected as a 2006 ESRI Business Partner of the Year.
ARCADIS was selected from the more than 2,000 value-added resellers, developers, consultants, and data providers who partner with ESRI to deliver a variety of value-added services and solutions to the GIS (geographic information system) user community worldwide.
Azteca Systems, Inc. announced the release of Cityworks Anywhere in conjunction with Cityworks Desktop Version 4.3.1. As the only GIS-centric Asset Maintenance Management System (AMMS), Cityworks Anywhere and Cityworks Desktop represent the latest enhancements and newest functionality, making asset and work management easier than ever and further reinforcing Azteca's position as the clear leader in Asset Maintenance Management solutions for GIS.
PCI Geomatics, a world-leading developer of image-centric software and solutions for the geospatial industry, announced the signing of a strategic distributor partnership with TGIS Technologies Inc. The agreement will allow PCI Geomatics to market, distribute, and sell the TGIS real-time GeoConference Software.
Pictometry International Corp. and Bradshaw Consulting Services, Inc. (BCS) , a provider of total Geographic Information System (GIS) solutions to business, industry, and government clients throughout the US, have announced a joint marketing alliance. Under terms of the partnership agreement, BCS will be working with Pictometry's technical support team to enhance BCS' customer's integration of Pictometry technology to BCS supplied GIS solutions.