On Thursday May 30th the Apps team held a Live Training Seminar titled Smartphone GIS: Capturing Data with Collector for ArcGIS. If you missed it, you can still watch it! Click on the link above, sign in with your Esri Global Account and watch the recorded version.
We had over a 1000 connects that joined and we tried our best to answer the questions that came in. However we missed quite a few. Here are a few of the most common questions and answers to them…
Q. Can I use the Collector app with my own ArcGIS Server?
A. Yes. In fact there are some distinct advantages to doing so. By publishing the layers you want to edit using ArcGIS Server, all edits are stored directly into your own enterprise geodatabase. The web map that you open and use with Collector can reference layers published with your ArcGIS Server. Please watch the seminar for details.
Q. Can I create/edit line and polygon features? If not when?
A. With the current, released version of Collector you can only collect and edit point features. With the next release of Collector (v 10.2) we will add support for lines and polygons. With both lines and polygon capture you will be able to collect the shape as you walk or drive (often called GPS streaming) or by capturing vertex locations either from a tap on the map or using your current GPS position.
Q. Can I use the Collector app when I do not have an internet connection?
A. No. Collector only works when you have an internet connection (cellular or wifi). However this is coming in the 10.2 version as well. With the 10.2 release you will be able to take your web map offline (both operational and basemap data), view/create/edit features, and then sync data when you regain a connection. Capabilities that require a connection (such as address search and getting directions) will be disabled when your map is offline.
Q. Does the Collector app replace ArcPad and ArcGIS for Windows Mobile?
A. Yes and No. The answer depends upon your need. Both ArcPad and ArcGIS for Windows Mobile are excellent choices that can be used to accomplish a variety of field workflows and we will continue to enhance and grow their capabilities on the platforms they currently support. However we are adding capabilities to the Collector that will match the functionality within both of those products over time so that you can choose the appropriate platform for your specific field tasks.
Q. Can I use the Collector on my iPad or Android tablet?
A. Yes you can. However the app is designed for the phone form factor and will not take advantage of the additional size. With 10.2 the app design will support both phone and tablet form factors.
Q. Can I use my personal phone with the Collector or do I need to use a device that my company gives me?
A. We do not restrict licensing of the Collector app based upon device ownership. We do require that you sign into the Collector using a unique named user account within either your ArcGIS Online subscription or your on-premises Portal. We recommend that if you are planning to use your own personal device that you talk with your IT staff/manager to see if your company has an existing personal device policy. Please consider that using the Collector with a cellular connection will use your data plan.
A special thanks to Harlan Heimgartner, Justine Guidry and John Castillo for their amazing work in producing and managing our Live Training Seminar!