TerraGo Technologies Hosts a Webinar, GeoPDFs are Featured, Life is Good

TerraGo Technologies hosted an informational webinar on April 17th to discuss their geospatial collaboration software suite, with a heavy emphasis on their GeoPDF output format.  Basically, the suite of software ties into GIS programs (ArcGIS was specifically mentioned, though the also have off-the-shelf plugins for GeoMedia and Raster, as well as an SDK to integrate it into other packages) to convert the GIS data into a GeoPDF format.  The GeoPDF is then viewable in any PDF reader (honestly, does anyone NOT have a PDF reader installed on every computer and mobile device right now?)

The real functionality of the GeoPDF format comes from the TerraGo toolbar, another plugin which works with Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader.  The TerraGo Toolbar “essentially allows you to interact with imbedded geospatial information.  You can measure distances/area, Google Map a point, look up a coordinate pair, and as long as the document has been enabled for rights, create, import and export geospatial markups to a kml, shp or to a twz (our format) for use within a GIS environment.” (Thanks TerraGo Support!)  This interactivity with the PDF allows for collaboration with multiple users – as long as the PDF is editable any user with the TerraGo Toolbar can add, export, measure, etc. within the PDF rather than having to use the full GIS software.

An additional bit of software available is TerraGo Mobile, which allows users with Microsoft Windows Mobile tablets to take the PDF into the field and continue to have the advanced functionality that the TerraGo Toolbar would provide.  Unfortunately, Windows Mobile tablets are few and far between these days, but according to a previous press release apps for Android and iOS are soon to come.  (Yeah Android!)  Alternatively a standard Windows 7 tablet should work fine with the TerraGo Toolbar.

An excellent real-world example of the benefit of the GeoPDF format occurred during the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in 2011, where TerraGo was instrumental in quickly distributing maps and other geospatial information to rescue crews.   A great summary video of that event can be found here.

More information on the TerraGo suite of tools and their GeoPDF file format can be found at their website.

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