Make a map

Collector opens and works with maps. To make your editable data available in the app, put it in a map using ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise. You can also choose a basemap, include other data, and make your data searchable.

Add editable layers to a map

Put your editable layer in a map. If you don't have an editable layer, see Design your layer and Prepare your layer.


If you are already on the item page of a layer you are adding to your map, click the arrow to the right of Open in Map Viewer and click Add to new map. Skip to step 3 (if you have additional layers to add) or step 4, and continue from there to customize your map.

  1. Open a web browser and sign in to your ArcGIS organization.
    • If you're using ArcGIS Online, go to
    • If you're using ArcGIS Enterprise, go to your Enterprise portal home page. This often follows the format
  2. At the top of the website, click Map to open Map Viewer.
  3. Add the editable layers you already had or that you created through the previous sections as follows:
  4. If your layer was created in ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise (and not in ArcGIS Pro) configure feature templates.

    Use feature templates to categorize your assets or observations. You can set default values unique to each template. In Collector, the templates display as types of assets and observations you can create, giving mobile workers a jump start on entering information in the form.

    In ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise, you'll do this as part of making the map by managing the new features. See Create feature templates in Map Viewer in ArcGIS Online or Create feature templates in Map Viewer in ArcGIS Enterprise.


    In ArcGIS Pro, you'll do this as part of making your layer. See Create a feature template in ArcGIS Pro.

  5. If your mobile workers don't need to see all the data in the layer, filter what is shown.

    You can create a hosted feature layer view or you can filter the layer that you've already added to your map. By creating a hosted feature layer view, you can restrict access to specific entries in the form and specific features in the data. Mobile workers can't bypass the restrictions you have put in place, as their access to the data is limited. To create a hosted feature layer view, see Limit the data available to mobile workers, remove the full layer from your map, and add the hosted feature layer view. You must own the layer to make a hosted feature layer view from it.

    If you don't own the layer, you can set a filter within the map. The features included in the map are limited based on your requirements. To remove specific entries from the form, you'll need to do so when you configure the form. Mobile workers can get around your restrictions, as they still have access to the full data. While you can configure filters to prompt for input, Collector doesn't support this.

  6. If your mobile workers or others back in the office (perhaps using another app, such as Map Viewer) need to see data updates made while the mobile workers are in the field, set a refresh interval on your layers. See Set a refresh interval in ArcGIS Online or Set a refresh interval in ArcGIS Enterprise.
  7. If you are updating existing assets or observations with current status, keeping historical reports available, you might want to restrict mobile workers from editing the asset or observation and only allow them to edit the related report (for example, if you want historical reports). Disable editing on the layer of assets or observations, leaving it only enabled on the table of inspection reports. See Disable editing in ArcGIS Online or Disable editing in ArcGIS Enterprise.
  8. Now that your data is in the map, customize it for use on mobile devices.

    When working in the field, mobile workers have more glare on their screens and use maps under different lighting conditions. It is harder for them to see subtleties in your map than it is when you are making the map indoors on a larger screen. Here are some suggestions for making a map that performs well in the field:

  9. Configure the labels on your layers.

    Pay attention to the overall visual complexity of your map and make sure your labels are readable. Use scale dependency to get the right labels at the right scales.

    See Create labels in ArcGIS Online or Create labels in ArcGIS Enterprise.

  10. Save your map. You'll need to give it a name and tags.

Choose the default basemap

In Collector, mobile workers can change the basemap. Your job as the map author is to provide the basemap the mobile workers need for most of their work. It is also the basemap that is taken offline with your map by default, and only offline basemaps are available to mobile workers working offline. See Choose basemap in ArcGIS Online or Choose basemap in ArcGIS Enterprise.


You can have offline maps use a different basemap instead of downloading the default basemap—see Reference an on-device basemap.

Your mobile workers can use a basemap that isn't available to the map in your organization. If you have a basemap available as a tile package but not as a basemap in ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise, you can copy it to the devices of your mobile workers for their use.

Add noneditable reference data

You might have data that mobile workers don't need to edit but that they do want to see in the map. For example, if creating proposed bike routes, having existing bike routes in the map helps the mobile workers place their proposed routes.

For supported reference data, see Basemap and other reference data requirements. If your data isn't supported, you'll need to import it to ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise as you did your editable data. When you publish, you won't need to make this data editable (as you did for the editable layer). See Hosted layers in ArcGIS Online or Hosted layers in ArcGIS Enterprise.

Once your data is supported, add it to your map and customize it for use on a mobile device. The same considerations apply as for your editable data. Consider customizing the filters, symbology, and labels as you did in Add editable layers to a map.

Configure search

Your mobile workers might need to search for an asset or observation to update the correct one, or to find information to help them in their work. You can also provide a hint text, and Collector displays it during search. By default, searching for addresses and places is supported, but you can disable it. See Configure feature search in ArcGIS Online or Configure feature search in ArcGIS Enterprise.


Location tracking is no longer done through Collector (see Is location tracking supported in Collector?).

Save your changes

Make sure to save the map to keep the customization you've done.

Next steps

You have prepared the map your mobile workers use to capture data. If your mobile workers work in areas with a low, unreliable, or no data connection, you'll also need to prepare your map for offline data collection. If your collection project requires better accuracy with reliable quality control, continue with high-accuracy data collection preparation. Then configure the form to enable your mobile workers to provide all the necessary information. You'll need to test and deploy your map, and it will be ready for your mobile workers.

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