Data Collection and Editing with ArcGIS for Smartphones

Adam Pittman shows how to use your iOS, Windows Phone, or Android mobile device to immediately collect and update ArcGIS field data.

Feb 17th, 2011

Start From:
Player Color:

Right-click on these links to download and save this video.


00:12Hi. My name is Adam.

00:13I'm going to show you how you can edit and capture data directly from your mobile device…

00:21…using ArcGIS Server and your account.

00:22Let's take a look.

00:24So here it is, my map.

00:26And this is a map I would like to extend to a mobile work force; in this case, volunteers that will be…

00:32…capturing information about fish stocking programs along this river.

00:37Now before we publish that map, there's a few best practices we need to follow to ensure its effectiveness.

00:43First of all, we need to make sure we document the properties of our map properly.

00:49So we'll open up the map document's properties, we'll give it a title, a description, and say OK…

00:54…and we'll do the same for our layer there; the data we're collecting on.

01:00This pulls open the Layer Properties dialog; and we give it a description and a name.

01:05And we certainly want to make this a good experience for the volunteers, so we're going to uncheck any information…

01:11…they don't need to see or capture.

01:14Here I have the date that the stocking occurred, the count, and the species of fish that was placed.

01:21Now notice that I have aliases here.

01:23So let's go ahead and enter an alias; something that's going to be a little more understandable to the volunteer.

01:29Now that we've done that, our map is ready to go.

01:33So let's use the map service publishing toolbar to publish this map to the web.

01:39So we'll analyze our map, pick up on any errors or any problems, and here you see we certainly have a concern.

01:46I'm using one of the ArcGIS Online basemaps.

01:50We can't republish that, so let's uncheck that, and we'll only publish the content…

01:57…we want our mobile field crew to work with.

02:01We'll preview that.

02:02Everything looks good.

02:04We'll save this map out, give it a name, and now we will publish it to ArcGIS Server.

02:14I'll rename this to Stocking.

02:18Hit Next.

02:20One thing that we want to do is we want to add feature access.

02:24This makes this feature editable by someone from a mobile device or even a web browser which we'll see here in a minute.

02:32So now that that's done we'll finish it and there we go.

02:35We've just followed best practices to authoring this map and preparing it and now we've put it out to ArcGIS Server.

02:42Our next step will be to share it with

02:47So here we are at the home page, which by the way is a free account for you to set up.

02:55I've logged in to my account here, and I'll show you some of the content that I'm sharing.

03:00Here you see a number of services and packages that I've put.

03:03Let's add a connection to the map we've just published.

03:07I'll hit the drop down; we'll grab ArcGIS Server connection here.

03:12I need a URL; I can grab this directly from our ArcGIS Server just by copying and pasting the link to our trout-stocking map.

03:21Paste that in there; we'll give it a title.

03:24We'll throw a few tags in here, as well.

03:28We'll call it trout-stocking program.

03:31We'll give it some tags that help it be discovered a little bit easier.

03:35Texas; Guadalupe; and trout.

03:38We'll add that item, and now that we've shared our service with there's one more sharing…

03:47…side of things that we need to take care of.

03:49So we'll hit the Share button.

03:51Now, once it's on I can share it with everyone, or I can share it with a select, private group…

03:57…and that's what I'll do here.

03:58I don't want everyone editing my content.

04:01I'll say "OK," and let's open the map.

04:04So we're opening the map now in the viewer.

04:09This map looks identical to the map that we saw a moment ago in ArcMap.

04:14So from this you'll notice I have an Edit dialog, that's thanks to the feature service.

04:19Now what that enables me to do is to click it and start interacting with features.

04:24So as an example I can click on an existing feature and modify any of the attributes that are there.

04:30If I like, I can click on the icon over here and just place a point on the map.

04:36So now I can enter in a new trout-stocking location and update the attributes.

04:42Notice that all of the attributes are following what we've set up in that map document.

04:47All the aliases, fish count, trout species, ambient temperature, all of those are coming across.

04:53And just like that we add a feature on the map.

04:57So we are ready to go.

04:59Now, you can change the basemaps in the back there.

05:02You can pick whatever's most appropriate for you.

05:06I'll leave the topographic basemap.

05:08We'll save the map.

05:10So I'll give this map [unintelligible] a new name.

05:13We can call it Trout-Stocking Map.

05:17We can give it a couple tags so someone can search and discover if we wanted them to.

05:23Trout and Guadalupe.

05:25We can give it a quick summary.

05:26This is our volunteer mobile map.

05:29And, we hit Save.

05:31So we've just now created a new map that lives on and is now available to the members of my group.

05:40So let's go into the content and I can show you the map that we've just made.

05:44Here it is; Trout-Stocking Map.

05:46Notice though that it's not shared with anybody; it's still private on my group.

05:50So let's share it.

05:51Again, I could share it with everyone, but we're going to keep it private with our own group.

05:56And I'll say OK.

05:58So just like that we've followed all the best practices, we have published that map to ArcGIS Server…

06:05…and now we've shared that map with

06:10So here is my iPhone.

06:11If you had a Windows Phone 7 or an Android device you would have the exact same experience.

06:17I'm going to open up the ArcGIS application.

06:20Let's find the map that we just published.

06:22I'll do that by going to My Maps.

06:24I'm going straight to that folder where we stored it.

06:27In this case I'll open up our Trout-Stocking Program map, and there is the map that we just authored in

06:35We'll zoom in and you can see the points that we collected.

06:38As a volunteer, I'm now accessing this map on a mobile device.

06:43And I can do more than just view and look at this map; I can actually capture and edit information.

06:49So to do that, we'll just tap the button on the top right there.

06:52You'll notice that I have the option now to collect and add new features to the map, so we'll do that.

06:59Now, I'm going to collect the location.

07:01I could do this using the GPS on my phone.

07:04In this case I'm going to physically place it on the map.

07:08We'll zoom in to this area of the river.

07:12Tap it, accept that as my location, and up comes our form, our attribute information.

07:13So you'll see and you'll recognize this from the map that all of the aliases are said and we've got our fish count.

07:24As a volunteer I simply select the fish-count attribute and give it an update.

07:30When I'm done with that I say OK.

07:31If I wanted to update anything else here I certainly could do that just by interacting with the map.

07:39Say Done.

07:40Let's go ahead and finish.

07:42And just like that we've added a new feature to the map.

07:45Now I can add features, but I can also modify existing features.

07:49Here I see on the other end of this bend a point that existed already.

07:55So I can tap that point, open up the attributes, and modify any of these just by hitting the Edit button on the top.

08:02So if I wanted to update one of these values I certainly could do that.

08:07So just like that we've taken our map to our mobile device.

08:10We've captured data in the field and shown how we can update and capture content directly from our mobile device.

08:18So that's it.

08:19As you can see, it's a straightforward process for extending the power of GIS outside of your office.

08:25But not only outside of your office, to anyone, using their Windows 7 Phone, their Android, or their iPhone.

08:32Thank you.

Copyright 2016 Esri
Auto Scroll (on)Enable or disable the automatic scrolling of the transcript text when the video is playing. You can save this option if you login


Hi Nadine. The data is managed using a versioned geodatabase (ArcGIS for Server). You absolutely can add photos and have them stored directly with the feature attributes. There are a few great ArcGIS Help articles you can reference to learn a little more. In particular, I provided the link below. This will describe the use of Feature Attachments and how you can enable the ability to attach photos or any other document types to your features.

Best wishes,



Feb 14th, 2013. 10:29:19 AM

Hi Nadine, I'm glad you found the video helpful. Your questions have been forwarded to the presenter. He will be posting a reply soon.


Feb 14th, 2013. 9:58:11 AM

Great video intro! How can the data be managed? Can you add photos too?


Feb 14th, 2013. 4:56:52 AM

Comment on this Video