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Discussion: Uploading OCAD maps to Avenza

in: Orienteering; General

Jan 9, 2021 3:47 PM # 
Does anybody on this forum have experience with uploading georeferenced maps to Avenza?

I have produced a map of a local nordic skiing club but I am having georeferencing issues post upload to Avenza. The map is lidar based as is georeferenced and I've had success using it with MapRunF. When fieldwork GPS tracks are imported to OCAD they are perfectly georeferenced.

But when I upload the PDF to Avenza it alters the georeferencing. The middle of the map aligns perfectly but the West-East shrinks while North-South is expanded/stretched. I've reached out to Avenza twice but haven't received any response (perhaps because my map is free). I

If others have had this issue or perhaps could assist with trouble shooting it would be greatly appreciated.

A PDF of the map is located here:

Jan 9, 2021 3:57 PM # 
Terje Mathisen:
From the error description I wonder if Avenza only supports Google Maps style "Web Mercator"?

This is a bastard projection which unfortunately has become pretty much the world standard for online maps. You can probably use GDAL to compress/stretch your UTM projection map images to fit this format.
Jan 9, 2021 5:55 PM # 
I have imported two maps into Avenza with excellent results. I exported from OCAD 2018 into (geo)tiff files. I know OCAD can now export geo PDF, but have not tried them. The maps are UTM/WGS 84 Zone 18N.
Jan 9, 2021 10:38 PM # 
I have used the export to pdf function of Ocad 2020 with georeferenced files and uploaded to Avenza and used Avenza map in the field with no problems.
Jan 9, 2021 10:47 PM # 
Not sure what I’m doing wrong. Back to the drawing board
Jan 9, 2021 10:56 PM # 
I haven't uploaded anything to Avenza since January 2020, so maybe they've changed something recently. I used the same procedure as Craig's, with no problems. I.e., OCAD 2018, export as geotiff, UTM WGS 84.When I look at the info in Avenza for this map, it suggests the projection is transverse mercator.
Jan 9, 2021 11:57 PM # 
I have some maps on Avenza as GeoTIFFs exported from Global Mapper. The Avenza instructions list a dozen different projections that work, but my only success was with Mercator.
Jan 10, 2021 5:17 PM # 
I opened your pdf in Global Mapper and it opened it as Geographic (Lat Long). I don't think it does that by default. Is it possible your original basemap is unprojected? I know that NTS map sheets an be downloaded as UTM or Unprojected.
Jan 10, 2021 10:47 PM # 
Thanks Brian I think that is the issue. Basemap is from original lidar.
Jan 11, 2021 8:56 AM # 
Terje Mathisen:
The quickest/easiest verification that georef info is OK is to export (a part of) the map as a Google Earth KMZ raster and click on it to check that it ends up in the proper location.
Jan 13, 2021 11:44 PM # 
Thanks everyone for the help and advice. I think the version I have under review at Avenza is going to work. Testing with the temporary link provided suggests all is good. Avenza did eventually get back to me but AP had the issue solved before them. Gotta love the orienteering community. Cheers.
Nov 25, 2021 8:44 PM # 
So an interesting thing happened recently on the maps I had uploaded to Avenza. There is now a few 100m off set from the GPS and the map yet the map is perfectly georectified and the verification suggestion that Terje provided above also shows all is good. Last year's map now has this offset even though it worked perfectly well last winter.

The files I imported to Avenza are GeoPDFs and when I mentioned this issue to Avenza they responded with "We've had a couple reports of similar issues with GeoPDFs over the weekend and are investigating"

Avenza suggested uploading as GeoTIFF instead. Any hints/advice from the OCAD experts on GeoTIFF settings for an OCAD export?
Nov 25, 2021 10:10 PM # 
Here are the settings I’ve used when exporting a geoTIFF for Avenza. They’ve worked well for me.

... resolution: 450 dpi . 300 dpi is okay if 450 results in too large a file
... pixel size: unchecked
... create world file: checked
... anti-aliasing: checked
... color correction: checked
... tiles: unchecked
... color tiff rather than spot colors
... color depth: CMYK (32 bits)
... lzw compression

When OCAD creates the .tiff and .tfw files, zip them into a single zip file. Then upload that zip file to Avenza. After that, Avenza seems to take care of the rest.
Nov 25, 2021 11:30 PM # 
Thanks Rick
Sep 13, 2023 9:13 PM # 
So this advice has been excellent! Thanks again to all that helped.

I have been making more trail maps but found the map artwork was easier in Condes than in OCAD itself. Condes help states "When exporting, Condes puts the real world coordinates for each control into the file:

So my newbie question...
What are the best settings to use (if at all possible) to export Condes files (using a georeferenced OCAD file) for use in Avenza?

If not possible I'll need to re-do the map artwork in OCAD (which I find kinda clunky)
Sep 14, 2023 2:12 AM # 
I export from Condes to Avenza all the time for field-checking when course designing. I started the habit before OCAD Sketch (which is probably the better tool for O-map updates, especially partnering with a remote lead mapper using OCAD) but that's a different thread.

The easiest for me has been to export PDFs from Condes (courses, All Controls, really anything) since the OCAD files I'm using as basemaps in Condes are georeferenced, the exported PDFs are also georeferenced and work great in Avenza.

I drop pins, take photos and notes, make gps tracks, sketch on the map, etc. etc. The weakest link in the whole setup is that there isn't an Avenza Desktop and the best/easiest the non-super-pro version can do is export KMZs that don't work as well in Google Earth, etc. as the original in Avenza does. But is still very useful.
Sep 14, 2023 2:15 AM # 
OK well that's nice and easy. Thanks Matt!

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