I needed to convert GeoPDF files to GeoTIFF. I’m not command-line savvy. So I was hesitant to try this. When the gdal_translate command failed no matter what I tried, I nearly gave up. (I can just screen-shot the PDFs. Right!)
But I kept digging. I found that not all GDAL installs support PDF. I had to get a specific set of GDAL binaries for Windows. Here’s how and why:
I’m doing volunteer/non-profit work to publish map services that show georeferenced map layers for historic maps of Caroline County, Maryland. I’m using MapTiler, Tileserver, QGIS, and ArcGIS Online for low-cost production and publishing. Recent products are:
Next task is to publish similar services and maps from the USGS Topo GeoPDFs. I need to convert the GeoPDFs to GeoTIFF in order to publish the tiles as a service. (Esri has done this already. But only for paying customers.)
I found a tutorial for using GDAL’s gdaltranslate utility. After installing GDAL and cursing my way through the godawful Windows command line window, I kept getting GDAL errors. GDAL wasn’t recognizing the PDF format.
Why not? I was following the tutorial steps exactly. I checked forums and found that GDAL has PDF support in some releases but not in others — it was working for Ubuntu installs, but not for all Windows installs. The tutorial used the Ubuntu installer. I had used the OSGeo4W installer for GDAL. That one does not include PDF support. Gotta love opensource.
I found a pointer to GDAL binaries I needed at gisinternals.com. I downloaded the zipfile with the files that are right for my Windows system. Simply unzipped the file in a folder. Then ran the SDKShell.bat file. No need to install anything. That worked for me. Gotta love opensource.