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Configure Collector

Configure the data collection experience in Collector based on your data collection project and the needs of your mobile workers. You can configure the following:

  • Sign in—Provide the identify of the mobile worker doing the data collection.
  • Available maps—Include only the maps your mobile workers need in the field.
  • Required accuracy and confidence—Capture locations with the accuracy and confidence your project requires.
  • Offline—Prepare for offline data collection. Copy a basemap (if needed), download a map area, enable automatic sync, and configure data transfer to wait for a Wi-Fi connection.
  • Automatic capture of locations while traveling—Configure the interval on which points are added to locations when automatically capturing locations while traveling.
  • Photo size—Use the right photo dimensions to balance the detail available and the size of the attachments.
  • Units—Display the units mobile workers expect to see for coordinates, lengths, and areas.
  • High-accuracy receiver—Set up to use a high-accuracy receiver, specifying a location provider and (optionally) a location profile to do datum transformations.
  • GPS averaging—Capture multiple locations to calculate a final location and accuracy when needed by your project.
  • Copy a basemap—Get a custom basemap into the app without publishing it to ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise.
  • Capture offset locations—Capture locations offset from where you are by using Eos Tools Pro and Lasertech rangefinders.
  • Show related types—Allow mobile workers to capture related assets and observations directly, without indicating the feature to which they are related.
  • Navigation app—Get directions in your preferred navigation app.

You can either configure these yourself as part of setting up the mobile devices for your mobile workers, or you can have the mobile workers configure the app themselves. If you are having the mobile workers configure the app, you need to provide them with any required settings for your data collection project. Once these are configured, they are remembered each time the mobile worker signs in to the app on the same device.

Sign in

Mobile workers sign in to Collector to access maps that are shared with them. If enabled for the map used, the mobile worker that is signed in is the one who is associated with captured assets and observations, as well as with inspections that are performed.

If using ArcGIS Enterprise, the URL to the portal must be entered. This is the same URL you enter in the browser when you want to access the portal, for example, https://myportal.mycompany.com/arcgis.

License:

Mobile workers must meet the ArcGIS account requirements to sign in.

Sign in using public key infrastructure (PKI)

If using public key infrastructure (PKI), mobile workers need to choose a certificate. Once a certificate is selected, they're prompted for a password and then signed in.

Before a certificate can be chosen in Collector, the certificate (.pfx) needs to be available on the device. There are a few ways to do this, including the following:

  • Through the Files app—Copy the certificate file you want on your device to a location that is available in the Files app, for example, iCloud Drive, Box, or Google Drive. In Collector, choose Sign in with ArcGIS Enterprise, enter your portal URL, and choose the certificate in the Files app. If using iOS 13 or later, you can share a certificate from an email or text message to the Files app. See Use the Files app on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
  • Using mobile device management (MDM) software—Push certificates to devices using MDM.

Remove saved URLs and certificates

To remove saved ArcGIS Enterprise URLs and PKI certificates, use the Settings app Settings app, browse to the settings for Collector, and tap Reset Sign In Options. This won't impact the currently signed in account. The next time a portal secured with PKI is accessed, mobile workers will be prompted to choose a certificate.

Available maps

Collector provides access to maps with editable data that are either owned by the mobile worker or shared with a group containing the mobile worker. By default, maps that meet these requirements display in the app. However, you may have maps that you don't want to be used in Collector. As the map author, you can exclude maps from the app by disabling the map's Use in Collector for ArcGIS setting. See the Use in Collector for ArcGIS setting in ArcGIS Online or the Use in Collector for ArcGIS setting in ArcGIS Enterprise.

Note:

If you're using ArcGIS Enterprise, excluding maps requires 10.7 or later.

Specify the required accuracy and confidence

Your organization may require that all data collected meet a specific minimum accuracy and confidence interval. In Collector, you can set the required accuracy of GPS positions and whether the positions need to meet a 95 percent confidence level. This ensures that data you collect meets your organization's data collection standards.

The default required accuracy is 30 feet. A 95 percent confidence level is disabled by default, and root mean square (RMS) is used, with 63 to 68 percent confidence. These can be changed in the settings in Collector.

  1. While viewing the Maps list, tap Profile Profile.
  2. In the Collection section of the profile, tap Accuracy.
  3. Set the accuracy units.

    The choices for the units depend on the setting for General > Units > Measurement Units. By default, the settings from your ArcGIS organizational account are honored, either US Standard or Metric.

  4. Tap Distance and specify a required accuracy.
  5. If your organization requires a 95 percent confidence level in the data collected, enable 95% Confidence.

    When this setting is enabled, the horizontal accuracy required for data collection is calculated with a 95 percent confidence level instead of the 63 to 68 percent provided by the default calculation using root mean square (RMS).

  6. Return to your profile, and return to the Maps list.

Configure to work offline

If you work offline, you must prepare your map and Collector. On your device, take the following steps to configure Collector:

For details, see Offline data collection preparation.

Once you have set up Collector, open the downloaded map, and you can work offline. The capture and inspection workflows used in the field remain the same as when working online. When done collecting data, make sure to sync the data you collected offline.

Configure to capture locations automatically while traveling (streaming)

If your mobile workers are capturing assets or observations that have smooth curves or have a smooth boundary, such as a path or a flower bed, they can use their location and capture them while traveling the length or boundary. You can configure whether the points are added based on a time or distance interval, and you can specify the interval used. Capture points more frequently for smoother locations, or less frequently for more simple locations.

  1. While viewing the Maps list, tap Profile Profile.
  2. In the Collection section of the profile, tap Streaming.
  3. Choose whether you want a time- or distance-based interval.
  4. Specify the interval.

    For time, you can choose one of the predefined intervals from 1 second up to 1 minute. For distance, enter an interval distance in feet or meters (depending on your measurement units setting).

  5. Return to your profile, and return to the Maps list.

Specify photo size

Photos can be large and quickly increase the size of your database. Attaching smaller photos means less data to store, as well as faster sync times when working offline. When a photo is taken in Collector, it is taken at the size specified in the app's settings. When an existing photo is attached in Collector, it is resized before it is attached. It is recommended that for data collection projects with many photos, you consider limiting the size.

  1. While viewing the Maps list, tap Profile Profile.
  2. In the Collection section of the profile, tap Photo size.
  3. Choose the size of photos you want attached by mobile workers.

    By default, photos taken in Collector are large (980x1280). You can specify that the app will instead use small (240x320), medium (480x640), extra large (1126x1500), or actual size images. The actual size depends on the device with which the photo is taken.

    If you're attaching a photo that is already smaller than the requested size, the photo's actual size is used. If you're attaching a photo with a different aspect ratio, it is resized to fit within the bounds of the requested size but maintains its aspect ratio.

  4. Return to your profile, and return to the Maps list.

Specify units

In Collector, by default, coordinates are displayed in the same format as the spatial reference of the basemap, and sizes are reported in units that vary based on the size. For example, if your basemap has a geographic coordinate system, coordinates display as latitude and longitude by default. If you're using US Standard units, shorter lengths show feet for the units by default, and as the lengths increase, they show miles.

However, your mobile workers might need to see fixed units, including both the units for coordinates and the units used to report sizes (distances and areas). If you manage a search and rescue or disaster response team, it is likely the team works in the United States National Grid (USNG). If your mobile works help an agricultural practice, field size is usually reported in acres independent of how large it is. Use the Units settings in Collector to ensure the right information for your mobile workers is displayed. The units are used at the top of the form. For decimal degree coordinates, you can also specify the precision with which the coordinates are displayed.

Tip:

To change the units used while measuring, tap the units next to the current measurement and tap the units you want to use. The choices honor the Measurement Units setting and include units that align with your setting of US Standard or Metric. The Distance and Area unit settings are not honored when measuring.

  1. While viewing the Maps list, tap Profile Profile.
  2. In the General section of the profile, tap Units.
  3. For Measurement Units, choose US Standard or Metric.

    By default, the units setting from your ArcGIS organizational account is honored.

  4. Tap Coordinates and specify required units, if needed.

    Collector supports decimal degrees (DD), degrees decimal minutes (DDM), degrees minutes seconds (DMS), Military Grid Reference System (MGRS), United States National Grid (USNG), and Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM).

    Tip:

    By default, decimal degrees display with six decimal places (including for the Automatic setting when the basemap has a geographic coordinate system). For high-accuracy data collection, mobile workers might need to see eight decimal places. Precision can be specified for decimal degrees: with coordinates of Decimal Degrees selected, another setting for Precision displays and can be modified.

  5. Tap Distance and specify required units, as needed.

    The choices for the units depend on the Measurement Units setting.

  6. Tap Area and specify required units, as needed.

    The choices for the units depend on the Measurement Units setting.

  7. Return to your profile, and return to the Maps list.

Configure to use a high-accuracy receiver

If you use a high-accuracy receiver for data collection, you must prepare your map, receiver, and Collector. On your device, take the following steps to configure Collector to use the receiver:

  1. Connect your receiver.
  2. Set your receiver as the location provider in Collector.
  3. Create a location profile (optional).

For details, see High-accuracy data collection preparation.

Projects that use high-accuracy receivers often have strict required accuracy and confidence requirements for the data collected. If your project does, configure Collector to honor them by specifying the required accuracy and confidence.

GPS averaging is often done by mobile workers with high-accuracy receivers. If your project uses it, enable GPS averaging in Collector.

Once you have set up Collector, the higher-accuracy data is used and (if configured for your data) metadata about it is stored; however, the capture and inspection workflows used in the field remain the same as with the internal receiver.

Enable GPS averaging

Your organization may require that you collect a number of points for a single location and average their information to get a final location and accuracy. In Collector, you can set the required number of points to be averaged to get a single location. Any time you use GPS location in your data collection, the required number of points will be collected and averaged. When enabled, averaging is done for point features as well as for the individual vertices of lines and polygons.

Note:

Streaming to collect lengths and areas and GPS averaging are mutually exclusive: you can't average the values and stream at the same time.

To use GPS averaging, enable it in the app's settings. All collections done using the GPS and without streaming use averaging if it is enabled.

  1. While viewing the Maps list, tap Profile Profile.
  2. In the Collection section of the profile, tap GPS Averaging.
  3. Enable GPS Averaging.
  4. Tap Points to Average and provide the number of GPS positions you want to average to determine the location and accuracy for your collection. The default is five positions.
  5. Return to your profile, and return to the Maps list.

Once GPS averaging is enabled, your data collection using the GPS will perform averaging on each point collected. When you start a collection, you'll see a banner showing the number of points that have been averaged so far, along with the current GPS accuracy.

GPS averaging

When the number of locations you specified in the setting has been obtained, averaging completes, the banner shows the averaged accuracy before reverting to the GPS information, and a point is placed on the map. To stop averaging before it completes, tap Stop Averaging, discarding the averaging you have done so far.

Copy a basemap

Your organization may have a custom basemap to use in the field. While you can publish it to ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise, you can copy a basemap directly to the mobile worker's device (this process is called sideloading) and reuse it across multiple maps.

If you want the copied basemap to be the default used when downloading the map (avoiding downloading the basemap along with the rest of the data), the map must reference it and it must be copied onto the mobile worker's device.

Create the basemap tile package

To copy a basemap directly onto devices, prepare your basemap as a map tile package (.tpk or .tpkx) or vector tile package (.vtpk). How you create the package depends on where you are creating it, and what type of tile package it is.

Copy the basemap tile package to the device

Once you create the basemap to copy to devices, provision it directly to the mobile worker's device through the Files app or iTunes. You must restart Collector on your device to see the updates made to the basemaps.

  • Files app—Copy the basemap file (.tpk, .tpkx, or .vtpk) you want on your device to a website that is available in the Files app, for example, iCloud Drive, Box, or Google Drive. In the Files app, browse to where you uploaded the basemap file and copy it to your device, placing it in the Collector folder. For complete steps, see Use the Files app on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
  • iTunes—Connect your device to your computer and go to your device in iTunes. Browse to the files shared with the device and select the Collector app. Drag the tile package (.tpk, .tpkx, or .vtpk) into the documents section for Collector. For complete steps, see Use iTunes to share files between your computer and your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

    Collector Documents

The next time you access basemaps, the tile package is moved into a Basemaps folder on your device and is available for use in Collector.

Tip:

To rename a basemap on the device, use the Files app. In the Files app, browse to the basemap file, long press the file, and rename it. The new name is displayed in Collector when switching basemaps.

Capture offset locations

Sometimes you can't be right at the location you need to capture. Use Eos Tools Pro and Lasertech rangefinders to capture offset locations with Collector. Once Eos Tools Pro is installed on your device, an Offset setting is available in Collector.

To capture (or update) locations using an offset, enable offset by completing the following steps and capture at a location offset from your location:

  1. Install Eos Tools Pro if you haven't already.
  2. While viewing the Maps list, tap Profile Profile.
  3. In the Collection section of the profile, tap Offset.

    This setting is only available with Eos Tools Pro installed.

  4. Choose Eos Tools Pro.

    When turned on, you'll have the option during capture of offsetting from your location.

  5. Return to your profile, and return to the Maps list.
  6. Optionally, you can configure your layer to capture metadata about the offset. This requires using fields defined by Eos Positioning Systems. You can use Python scripts provided by Eos Positioning Systems. Offset metadata is populated on point layers only.

Show related types

If you have assets or observations that must be related to another, you might not want your users capturing them directly. For example, if you are capturing streetlights, you might have each pole as an asset and each light on the pole as an asset. The pole and lights are related—each pole has one or more lights, and each light has to be related to a pole. If your mobile workers capture lights directly, you have to relate them to their pole back in the office. If you require your mobile workers to first specify which pole the light they are collecting is on, the relationship is created during capture.

To require that the related assets and observations are captured with the relationship in place, assets and observations that have to be related to another are excluded from the list of features that the mobile worker can capture when adding a new asset or observation (this is the default in Collector). To capture a related asset or observation, mobile workers must capture them related to another asset or observation.

If instead you want your workers capturing all features, turn on Show Related Types by completing the following steps:

  1. While viewing the Maps list, tap Profile Profile.
  2. In the Collection section of the profile, tap Related types.
  3. Turn on Show related types

    When turned off (which is the default), related assets and observations must be captured through the asset or observation to which they are related. Adding them requires that the mobile worker first selects the asset or observation they are related to and then adds them through it.

  4. Return to your profile, and return to the Maps list.

Specify a default navigation app

Collector works with other apps to provide directions to assets and observations. By default, the app asks what app you'd like to use whenever getting directions. However, you can specify a default app instead of being prompted each time. Navigator for ArcGIS, Apple Maps, Google Maps, and Waze are supported.

  1. While viewing the Maps list, tap Profile Profile.
  2. In the General section of the profile, tap Directions.
  3. Tap the app you want to be used for directions.
    • If you want mobile workers to be prompted and choose themselves, set to Always ask.
    • If Apple Maps is selected but not on the device, when requesting directions, mobile workers are directed to the App Store to get it.
    • If Navigator for ArcGIS, Google Maps, or Waze is not on the device, it won't be available as a choice.
  4. Return to your profile, and return to the Maps list.

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