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Georeferenced PDF Maps

iphone with a map on the screen

Georeferenced PDF maps contain embedded coordinates that allow you to track your actual location on the map. DEC is now using georeferencing in many of our recreation maps as a public service that will improve safety for people who enjoy outdoor activities on the nearly 5 million acres of lands we manage .

Once a georeferenced map is downloaded, you don't need cell service - the app below uses your smartphone's GPS system to pinpoint your location. You'll be able to see exactly where you are on a hiking trail or in the field, which will make finding your way that much easier.

You should always bring a paper map and compass when entering the woods - the batteries will never die on a paper map!

Not all maps contain georeferenced data - look for the (GeoPDF) tag included in the map link.

How to Use Georeferenced Maps

NOTE: You need to have cell service or an internet connection to download the app and your map.

1.) Download the Free Avenza Maps App for iOS or Android (links leave DEC website)

2.) Download the GeoPDF map for the property you are planning to visit. Find these on our list of recreation destination pages on this website.

3.) Open the map you've downloaded with the Avenza App

Android (after the GeoPDF has been downloaded):

  • Open Avenza Maps
  • Tap the add button add button on android
  • Tap "download or import a map"
  • Tap "From Device Storage"
  • Navigate to the recently downloaded map
  • The map will then open in Avenza Maps

Apple iOS (after the GeoPDF has been downloaded)

  • Open the map
  • Tap the upload button
  • Scroll to Avenza Maps
  • The map will then open in Avenza Maps.

NOTE: The free version of the Avenza App limits users to having three maps downloaded to the app at any one time. As an alternative to upgrading the app, you can store GeoPDF files on your phone, and cycle them in and out of the Avenza App as you use them.

After you have followed the process above, you can disconnect from the internet or leave cell service coverage and the Avenza App will still work just like Google Maps - by displaying your location once you enter the boundaries of the map.

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