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Guided tour

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

Before you log in to the app, the initial screen shows the Try Collector option. The Try Collector option loads the app as a trial user with some sample maps. These maps let you explore what the app can do and help you visualize how it can be incorporated into your work.

Start the trial mode

  1. Install Collector for ArcGIS from the Windows Store if you don't already have it on your device.
  2. Start the app.
  3. On the initial screen, select Try Collector.

    If you already installed and logged in to the app, you can access the trial functionality by signing out. From the Menu Menu, choose your account, select the current account, and select Remove.

    The trial user's content is loaded in the app, and you're taken to the list of sample maps.

Find maps with the Map Gallery

Become familiar with the Map Gallery.

  1. In the Filter Maps text box, type Damage to filter the sample maps shown. This allows you to more easily find the Damage Assessment Survey map.
    Map Gallery
  2. View the details of the Damage Assessment Survey sample map by choosing More More and choosing Details.
    Damage Assessment Survey map card
  3. Select Close to close the Map Details.

Open and navigate a map

  1. Select the Damage Assessment Survey map card.

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

    If location services are enabled, My Location My Location with GPS on shows a filled circle, 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 as you move, keeping your location centered on the map.

  3. Navigate around the map by panning and zooming.

    Pan or drag the map to move it. Pinch the map or scroll down with the mouse to zoom out, and stretch the map or scroll up with the mouse to zoom in.

    If you pan away from your location on the map, 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 the 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 More More to view additional available tools. Select Bookmarks Bookmarks. If the author bookmarked locations on 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

You may need to collect data near a certain point of interest. In this exercise, the data you're going to collect is near a local coffee shop. Take the following steps to search for it:

  1. Select Search Search.
  2. Type coffee shop and press Enter.

    You can refine your search results using your current location. If you're displaying your current location and it's visible on the map or nearby, search uses this location to provide an area of interest. However, if the GPS is on but outside 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 in the search results. The first result also displays on the map, using a red pin outlined in cyan to show its location.

    Search results
  3. In the search results, the first result is the place of interest. To show the actions you can take with the result, select More More to the right of it.

    In addition to searching for a place or an address, you can also search for a feature if feature search is authored as part of the map. You want to locate the damage assessment that has the incident number 1234. Type this number into the search text box and press Enter. The damage assessment with that incident number will appear in the search results and on the map. For details on configuring feature search, see Create and share a map for data collection.

View, update, and create features

Having found the area where you'll work, explore the existing features 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 around the area of the coffee shop you 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 a damage assessment on the map and view its details. For purposes of this exercise, it can be any of the damage assessments you see.
    • If your assessment is in an area with multiple features, they all appear in a results list to the left of the map, and the first result in the list is highlighted on the map. Select a feature to view its details.
    • If you select a feature that is isolated from the others, details for that damage assessment appear in the panel to the left of map.
      Selected damage assessment and selection results

    The information displayed is authored as a part of the map. The bottom of the panel shows actions you can take with the feature, such as Edit Edit, Copy Copy, and Delete Delete. For additional information, see Update a feature, Copy an existing feature, and Delete a feature.

  3. Select Collect New Collect New.

    If you have many feature types to choose from, use the search box at the top of the panel to find the type you're creating.

    See Collect data for a complete exercise on data collection, including how to add attachments and set the location using various options. A basic collection example is included here.

    The Collect new panel displays.

  4. Select Minor to create a damage assessment for minor damage at your location.

    An intelligent data entry form displays in the panel. The contents of this form match what was authored as the pop-up for the map.

  5. Select the Contact First Name field and type Fred.
  6. Select Submit Submit to save the feature.

    A message that says Saving feature appears, and the feature is added to the server.

Change the visible data

The data displayed on the map provides the 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 to be the most useful, you may want to use a different basemap. However, this change is only visible as you work with the map and does not permanently change the saved map.


When making the map, the author also included features they believed would be helpful. However, you may want to hide some of these features while you're looking for patterns in other features, or to help find a particular feature of interest. While this section of the exercise focuses on changing the basemap, you can also change the visibility of features on the Layers tab. Expand the toolbar by choosing More More, select Map Contents Map Contents, and select the Layers tab.

  1. Select More More to view additional available tools.
    Results after choosing More on the toolbar
  2. Select Basemaps Basemaps to display the available basemaps.
  3. Choose the Imagery basemap's thumbnail.

    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'll measure how far away you are from a feature.

  1. Select More More to view additional available tools.
  2. Select Measure Measure.

    The map goes into measure mode. Choosing a feature no longer displays information about it, but instead places a measure point at that location. The Measure toolbar displays. The map is set to measure distance if it's your first time measuring or if you last measured distance.

    Measure set to distance

    If you last measured an area, the map is set to measure area. Select Measure Area and change it to Measure Distance.

  3. Locate a feature on the map. You'll 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 measurement result to open the units' drop-down list, and select different measurement 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 own data or to track the location of collectors while they're 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.