Is there a software to automatically convert from pdf to shapefiles (polyline, polygon, points) to be managed in GIS software?

For example, from this pdf:

picture of a map

The software must run on Windows. I'd be willing to spend what's necessary, but I hope there is free software. Output formats should at least include shapefile; the target GIS software is Arcgis.


1 Answer 1


I think the answer is no.

A PDF file is basically a picture (or raster in GIS terminology)


To make a picture into Polygons, Lines etc you would have to put it into a GIS Software package (e.g. QGIS), make sure it's in the correct position on the Globe (Georeferencing) and then trace over the top (Digitize new features).

Also from a quick look at the picture you have provided a lot of the information (river boundaries, country boundaries) will be available somewhere as open data in shapefiles, usually managed by a government organisation.

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