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Guided tour

Collector has a trial mode that allows you to use the app and its capabilities without creating maps. This exercise takes you through the app using the trial mode to experience the available functionality.

Before you log into the app, the initial screen shows the Learn more and Try it options. The Learn more option opens the device's web browser to the resources for learning about Collector. The Try it option loads the app as a trial user with some example maps. These maps let you explore what the app can do and help you visualize how it might be incorporated into your work.

Start the trial mode

  1. Install Collector for ArcGIS from Google Play if you don't yet have it on your phone.
  2. Start the app.
  3. On the initial screen, select Try it.

    If you already installed and logged in to the app, you can access the trial functionality by selecting Switch Account in the Map Gallery Overflow menu, and then canceling with the device's back button to return to the initial screen for the app.

    The trial user's content is loaded in the app, and you're taken to the list of All Maps. This is similar to the experience of logging in as the trial user, as it is a real account with real maps, groups, and content. However, the trial experience menu has no My Maps option.

Find maps with the Map Gallery and menu

Become familiar with the menu and the Map Gallery.

  1. To view the list of available collections of maps, select Collector Collector.

    A list of available groups of maps is displayed, including an All Maps option, as well as entries for all the trial user's groups.

    Try it menu

    Since the trial user is a real account, the groups it is a member of are dynamic and change over time. You might see a different list of groups than is shown in the previous screen capture. When you are signed in, you see a My Maps option the trial user doesn't have.

  2. Return to the All Maps list by selecting All Maps in the menu. If you select one of the groups, you see only the maps that are a part of that group.
  3. Select Search Search, and type Damage Assessment to filter the sample maps shown. This allows you to more easily find the Damage Assessment Survey map.
  4. View the details of the Damage Assessment Survey sample map by selecting Overflow Overflow on the map card, and selecting Details.
  5. Return to the list of sample maps by pressing the device's back button.

Open and navigate a map

  1. Select the Damage Assessment Survey map's thumbnail to open it.

    The map opens with the Damage Assessment Survey map. The extent shown reflects your current location if you enabled location services (otherwise, you see the extent at which the map was saved).

    If location services is enabled, My Location shows a filled circle My Location with GPS on, indicating your location is displaying on the screen and that as you move, the map pans to remain centered on your location.

  2. Walk or drive around to change your location.

    Your location updates on the map. The map pans, keeping your location centered on the map.

  3. Navigate around the map by panning and zooming.

    My Location changes to show an empty circle My Location with GPS autopan off, indicating your location is displaying on the screen but the map is not panning to keep it centered. Your location stays fixed in position on the map, but not the center of the screen.

  4. Select My Location My Location with GPS autopan off to recenter your location on the screen, and again to turn off display of your current location.

    My Location changes to show an empty icon My Location with GPS off.


    When you don't need to see your location on the map, turn off My Location My Location with GPS off. This saves the battery by turning off not only the display of your location but also the GPS. If the map tracks your location, it continues to do so when location is not displayed on the map, turning on the GPS when needed. If you're collecting data, the GPS turns back on as needed to get collection locations.

  5. Select Bookmarks Bookmarks. If the author bookmarked locations in the map, you can navigate to them from here. If you were logged in to the app as yourself instead of the trial user, you'd be able to save places and navigate to them.

Search for a place and get directions

When you are collecting data, you may know that you need to collect data near a certain point of interest. In this exercise, the data you are going to collect is near a local coffee shop. Take the following steps to search for it and get directions:

  1. Select Search Search.
  2. Type coffee shop and select Search on the keyboard.

    You can refine your search results using your current location. If you are displaying your current location and it is visible on the map or nearby, search uses this location to provide an area of interest. If the location is not displayed, the GPS is turned on and used as the center of your area of interest. However, if the GPS is on but outside of the visible area on the map, it is not used to refine search results, and the center of the visible map is used instead to define the area of interest.

    Coffee shops display along the bottom of the map in the search results. The first result also displays on the map, using a red pin to show its location.

  3. In the results list, the first result is the place of interest. To show the actions you can take with the result, select the arrow to the right of it Feature Action.
    Search result feature actions
  4. Select Directions to here.

    If you do not have Navigator for ArcGIS installed on your device, and you haven't already accepted the Legal Disclaimer, it appears. Read the disclaimer, check Don't show this message again, and select Accept.

    Routing legal disclaimer

    The route from your current location to the point of interest displays on the map. The route information displays at the bottom of the map, containing a route summary, including travel time and distance, and step-by-step directions of the route.

    If you have installed Navigator, the app starts. If you have not already signed in, downloaded, and opened a map of your location, do so. The map currently open in Navigator is used and the route, travel time, and distance to your destination display on the map. To receive voice-guided directions select Start Navigation. After you have reached your destination, you see a message in Navigator asking if you'd like to return to Collector. Select Yes to resume your data collection. See the Navigator help for more details.

View, update, and create features

Having found the area where you will work, explore the features already there and add a new feature.

  1. Locate a house in a green, gray, yellow, red, or brown box. These are damage assessment features on the map. You might need to zoom out on the map to find one if none have been created in your area, or search the area of the coffee shop found in the previous section.

    In this help system, the word feature refers to an item of interest on the map with which you can interact. The traditional meaning of a feature on a map refers to any item of interest. However, in this app, some of the traditional features are part of the basemap (background) and are not interactive. For example, in the Damage Assessment Survey (Tutorial) sample map, the cities and lakes are a part of the basemap and do not have additional information or interactivity. Any houses are items on top of the basemap, and they have additional information with which you can interact. You can view information about and edit the houses, so the houses in that map are features.

  2. Select an existing feature.

    The feature appears in the results.

  3. To show the actions you can take with the result, select the arrow to the right of it Feature Action.
    Available actions
  4. Select Show details to see additional information about the feature. The information displayed is authored as a part of the map.

    You can also edit or delete the feature. For exercises about those actions, see Update a feature and Delete a feature.

  5. Select Done Done to close the details.
  6. Select Collect New Collect New.

    If you have many feature types to choose from, use the filter at the top of the panel to find the type you are creating.

    See Collect data for a complete data collection exercise, including adding attachments and options for setting the location. A basic collection example is included here.

    If you are working on a tablet, you do not have a Collect New tool on the toolbar. Instead, use the Collect a new feature panel on the right side of the screen.

  7. Select Minor to create a damage assessment for minor damage at your location.
  8. Select the Contact First Name field and type Fred.
  9. Select Done Done to save the feature.

    The map appears with the added feature.

Change the visible data

The data displayed on the map provides a context in which the rest of the data is viewed. The basemap (also known as the background map or reference map) provides much of the reference for the data. Depending on the basemap used, it may answer questions such as what is nearby, or what the terrain is like. While the map's author chose the basemap they considered the most useful, you may want to see a different basemap. The change is only visible as you work with the map and does not change the map as it is stored online.


When making the map, the author also included features they believed would be helpful. However, you may want to hide some of the features while you are looking for patterns in other features, or to help find a particular feature of interest. While this exercise focuses on changing the basemap, you can also change the visibility of features using Layers . The Layers tool is in the Overflow menu.

  1. Select Overflow Overflow to view additional available tools.

    Depending on your device, you may not see the Overflow icon. If you don't see it, press the device's menu button.

  2. Select Basemap to display the Basemaps page.
  3. Select the Imagery basemap's thumbnail to use it.

    The map is displayed with the Imagery basemap.

Measure on the map

You can measure distances and areas on the map. In this exercise, you will measure how far away you are from a feature.

  1. Select Overflow Overflow to view additional available tools.

    Depending on your device, you may not see the Overflow icon. If you don't see it, press the device's menu button.

  2. Select Measure .

    The map goes into measure mode. Selecting a feature no longer displays information about it, but instead places a measure point at that location. The measure toolbar displays at the bottom of the map, and the measure results bar displays at the top of the map. The map is set to measure distance.

    Measure set to distance
  3. Locate a feature on the map. You will measure your distance from this feature. Select the feature to place a measure point at its location.
  4. Select Use My Location Use My Location to add another point at your current location.

    The distance between you and the feature displays.

  5. Select the measure result to open the units' drop-down list, and select the units you want displayed to view the measurement in different units.
  6. To exit measure mode, select Done Done.

    The measurement shape and results are removed from the map, and measurement mode is exited. Selecting features returns information about them.

By using the trial mode and the Damage Assessment Survey sample map, you should now be familiar with the capabilities and power of Collector. From here, think about how it can fit into your workflows, or how you can use it when working with your organization's data.


Collector can also be used with your data or to track the location of collectors while they are working in the field. To try these workflows, create your own maps. See Create and share a map for data collection and Track where collectors go for details.