In the field, you often work in areas without a data connection. If that's the case, you can download the map to make it available when you do not have a connection. You can also download or copy basemaps directly to your device and reuse them across multiple maps. Once you have your map offline, you can work with your map, including collecting and editing data, in the same way as when you're connected.
Getting directions and finding places require an Internet connection when working with an online or offline map. You can search your own data without a connection if your map has feature search enabled. When using an offline map, you can't switch to an online basemap.
Download the map
To work offline, download the map to your device.
- If your map is available for download, select Download to start downloading the map.
Only maps that can be taken offline have Download on their map cards. To support taking a map offline, the author needs to prepare the map for offline use. For details, see Prepare maps for offline use.
If you previously downloaded or copied a basemap to the device, you can reuse that basemap. When you use an existing basemap, you won't specify map detail before downloading the map.
- Using the map, zoom in or out as needed until you can see the entire work area that you need to download.
The work area is the extent or geographic area of the map you download. Before downloading, make sure you can see your entire area of interest.
- Select Map Detail and zoom in or out until the map is showing the detail you need to work with in the field.
Map detail determines the quality or resolution of the map you download. Before downloading, make sure you can see all of the information you need on the map.
- Select Download.
You are taken back to the Map Gallery and the map downloads. Depending on the size of your map, the download could take some time. During download, a progress bar displays and a cancel option is available.
- When the map has finished downloading, you can open and use the map without an Internet connection.
Use basemaps on your device
Basemaps provide the frame of reference for your data. When working offline, you can use basemaps on your device or SD card instead of downloading a basemap for each map you use offline. This has a few advantages: it's faster in most cases and allows you to prepare basemaps for much larger areas.
- Prepare a tile package (.tpk) using ArcGIS Desktop. For details, see How to create a tile package in the ArcGIS help.
- Plug your device or SD card in to your computer.
- Using a file explorer on your computer, browse to the ArcGIS_Collector folder on your device or SD card.
- If using an SD card and that folder doesn't exist, create it.
- If using your device and that folder doesn't exist, copy the tile package to the Downloads folder instead. Using a file explorer app on your device, browse to the Downloads folder and move your tile package to the ArcGIS_Collector folder.
- Copy the tile package (.tpk) to the ArcGIS_Collector folder.
- If using an SD card and you removed it to plug it in to your computer, reinsert it in your device.
- Restart Collector on your device.
Sync your work
Sync allows you to send and receive updates for maps you've taken offline. Anytime you regain connectivity and want to check for new updates or send your updates for other people to see, select Sync on the map card in the Map Gallery.
You can configure Collector to only push your edits up to the server when you sync, and not to pull down edits made by others while you were offline. This reduces the amount of data transferred, making it faster to share your changes, and saving data transfer costs on cellular networks. If the edits being made by others are important to you, leave Push Only synchronization disabled.
To enable push-only synchronization, go to the Map Gallery and select Settings from the Overflow menu . Enable Push Only synchronization.
If you aren't seeing expected updates to features that you are not currently working on, you might have enabled Push Only synchronization accidentally. If you aren't seeing any features besides those you've added, or aren't seeing attachments for features you are not currently working on, your map author may have configured the map to limit the data retrieved from the server. Enabling Push Only synchronization overrides the author's settings.
Remove downloaded maps and basemaps
Occasionally, you may need to manage the downloaded maps or basemaps. You may want to remove the map for a number of reasons: you're finished with it, it's out of date, it's taking up too much space on your device, or you want to use it while connected.
Manage can be found in the Overflow menu of the Map Gallery. Switch between maps and basemaps to access the content you want to remove from your device. Find the card of the item to remove and select Remove.
If a basemap is being used for one or more maps, you cannot remove it from your device without removing the map or maps first.
If a basemap was copied onto your SD card following the steps in Use basemaps on your device, you'll need to delete it from the card. You won't be able to remove it from inside the app.
When removing a map, you can remove the entire map (including the basemap), or you can remove the map and save the basemap for future use. This is useful if you expect to reuse the basemap with another map.