Data isn’t a Map or is it Vice Versa

Update 3: It appears this is a total FS effort to sell PDFs using Avenza.  I talked with Avenza  and they said that the FS is just a client of theirs using the marketplace.

Update 2: There is a free method here:

You’ll need to scroll to the bottom of that raster page because the retro image map doesn’t work with touch devices. The links are at the bottom.

Update: Well this is interesting, read this statement on the PDF marketplace.

A current printed copy of the Forest MVUM is available FREE from local Forest Service offices, and the current downloadable copy is available FREE from

So the only thing here is the FS is promoting a 3rd party marketplace (well besides not bothering to create hyperlinks).  The whole thing is completely weird.  Why would the FS put out a press release promoting awesome PDF mobile mapping when it’s a 3rd party effort?  Why not just point to the data for free online and be done with it?  I’m completely confused here as to why the FS would even bother.  Clue me in folks!

Interesting thoughts in the comments about PDF mobile maps being less than awesome:

I think there is some confusion here about the difference between data and maps. …… The maps built from this data (and other data) are a different product; maps are designed with a certain audience in mind and serve a specific purpose.

I don’t give a SHIT about the open data! We’ve got $500 million in the case, and 20 tonnes of mobile PDF pure IN THE TANKERS!

I’ve been chewing on this for a while since that comment was posted.   Ignoring that I feel charging for digital data is (despite quoting some USDA regulation) offensive to me, I can’t really disagree with this statement.  Does providing the data for free absolve any of the implications of charging citizens for data they have already paid for?

If I put my old data marketplace hat on, the other part of this all that bothers me is the federal government is picking Avenza (or whatever they are called) to sell their maps for them.  Quote whatever regulation you want, this stinks.  You can have our maps as long as you pay some 3rd party for them?  Tell me how that isn’t bad for the consumer?