FAQ

General

Web app

GPS accuracy and receivers

Location tracking set up

Location tracking in the mobile app

General

How do I get the app?

ArcGIS Field Maps includes two apps—the ArcGIS Field Maps mobile app and the ArcGIS Field Maps web app.

The Field Maps mobile app is available on Google Play for Android devices and the App Store for iPad and iPhone.

Note:

If you can't access Google Play, see the technical article about downloading Field Maps from Esri.

Access the Field Maps web app through the app launcher or by going to https://www.arcgis.com/apps/fieldmaps.

Why can't I sign in?

There are a couple of common issues that may occur when trying to sign in. Verify that you typed your user name and password correctly. Confirm that your account is part of an ArcGIS organization (ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise). If you're using ArcGIS Enterprise, verify the URL to your portal instance, for example, https://myportal.mycompany.com/arcgis.

What is the licensing of the app?

ArcGIS Field Maps is available to members of ArcGIS organizations. This includes those with a subscription to ArcGIS Online or an account on ArcGIS Enterprise. For more information, see ArcGIS account requirements for Field Maps and Licensing Terms of Use.

Can mobile workers open Field Maps from emails, websites, or apps?

Yes. When you use Field Maps links in your app, website, or email, your users can open Field Maps. You can specify a particular portal that should be used or map that should open, as well as the location the map should center on or a feature to search for. If you want to start capturing an asset or observation, specify the layer you want to add a feature to, any attributes you want to set, the value to assign to each attribute, and whether there is an application to return to when the capture is completed. See Open your map from a link for more information.

How can I give feedback on the app?

The ArcGIS Field Maps team wants to hear from you about the app. If you have feedback or inquiries, send an email to ArcGISFieldMaps@esri.com. You can also provide feedback on the ArcGIS Field Maps GeoNet community page. If you're experiencing issues with the app, contact Esri Technical Support. If you have ideas for the app, share them through ArcGIS Ideas.

Can I install a previous version of the app?

No, reverting to a previous version of the app is not supported. For details, see the Product Life Cycle for ArcGIS Field Maps on Android or the Product Life Cycle for ArcGIS Field Maps on iOS.

Can I work offline?

Yes, Field Maps supports working offline with web maps and mobile map packages (MMPKs). To learn more about working offline with MMPKs and web maps, see Download maps.

For details on making web maps and MMPKs for offline use, see Prepare maps for download.

Can I use basemaps copied (sideloaded) to the device?

Yes, you can copy a map tile package (.tpk or .tpkx) or vector tile package (.vtpk) directly to the device or SD card. Copied basemaps are available for use when working online or offline. To use the basemap on the device as the default basemap when downloading a map area, the map must reference it. If working offline, the copied basemap must overlap the extent of the map area and must have the same spatial reference as the default basemap. See Copy a basemap for more information.

Can I generate routes and get directions in the app?

While Field Maps doesn't generate routes or provide directions in the app, it does pass locations to routing apps including ArcGIS Navigator, Apple Maps, and Google Maps. When you select a location of interest (including features, search results, and dropped pins), a Directions action becomes available.

Field Maps also includes a compass that directs you to a point of interest. Use the Compass action on a feature, search result, or pin to see what direction to head and how far to go to get to the item.

Note:

See What is planned for Field Maps to learn more about the navigation and routing capabilities coming to Field Maps in future releases.

Does using Field Maps consume credits?

Field Maps does not consume credits; however, certain functions from ArcGIS Online that can be used in Field Maps do. For example, in hosted feature layers, adding features consumes Feature Storage credits, and adding photo attachments to features consumes File Storage credits. For details about credit consumption for these and other ArcGIS Online functions, see Credits in the ArcGIS Online View status topic. For more information about how credits are used in ArcGIS Online, see Understand credits.

What is planned for Field Maps?

In future releases, Field Maps will integrate the capabilities of ArcGIS Workforce and ArcGIS Navigator—bringing in assignment management and navigation. For more information on the Field Maps road plan, see Introducing ArcGIS Field Maps.

Web app

Do I need to use Map Viewer Beta when editing a map configured with the Field Maps web app?

Yes. If you configure the map using the Field Maps web app, you must use Map Viewer Beta when editing the map.

If you use Map Viewer in ArcGIS Online or Map Viewer in ArcGIS Enterprise to edit the map, the changes you make in the Field Maps web app will be lost.

Will the forms and feature templates I configure in Field Maps override the symbology, pop-up configurations, and forms that were set up in Map Viewer?

If you create a form in the Field Maps web app, it overrides the editable pop-up configured in Map Viewer. The Field Maps web app does not alter symbology or pop-ups.

When editing a map you've configured in the Field Maps web app, you must use Map Viewer Beta to avoid losing your changes.

GPS accuracy and receivers

Is my GPS receiver compatible with Field Maps?

Field Maps supports internal GPS receivers and external GPS receivers that output NMEA sentences. See Choose a receiver for a list of NMEA sentences that Field Maps can read and a list of GPS receivers that can be used with Field Maps.

  • To use a receiver with an Android device, it must be supported on Android and output NMEA0183 sentences. Choose a receiver includes a list of receivers that the Field Maps development team has used with Field Maps.
  • To use a receiver with an iOS device, it must be listed in Choose a receiver as supported.

What level of accuracy can I expect from a GPS receiver?

The best way to determine the accuracy level to expect from a particular external GPS receiver is to check the website of the receiver's vendor for GPS specs. If you are looking for the accuracy level of an integrated GPS receiver or if you want to compare accuracy levels of various external GPS receivers, you may find the MTDC GPS Receiver Horizontal Accuracy Reports and Tested Accuracies published by the USDA Forest Service helpful. This organization has been testing GPS receivers of various grades to determine their horizontal accuracy in different canopy cover conditions, and in some cases, different GPS settings. While Esri does not endorse the Forest Service's results, they may be a useful guide to determine which receiver best suits your organization's needs. Esri does not officially recommend any specific receiver for use with Field Maps.

Location tracking set up

How do I set up location tracking and authorize ArcGIS Field Maps?

To use the location tracking capability in ArcGIS Field Maps, location tracking must be enabled for your organization.

To access the location tracking capability in Field Maps, you must purchase and assign an add-on ArcGIS Tracker license to each ArcGIS account that will be tracked. The license is supported by all user types (including the Viewer user type). For more information, see user types in ArcGIS Online or user types in ArcGIS Enterprise.

The Track Viewer web app can be used to view tracks collected from Field Maps. The Track Viewer web app is accessed through your portal. How you access it depends on the software you're using:

  • If you're using ArcGIS Online—Access Track Viewer through the app launcher or by going to https://www.arcgis.com/apps/trackviewer.
  • If you're using ArcGIS Enterprise—Access Track Viewer through the app launcher or by going to https://host.domain.com/webadaptor/apps/trackviewer/ (where host, domain, and webadaptor are replaced by the information about your portal).

To use the Track Viewer web app to create track views, you must be an administrator. To use the Track Viewer web app to view tracks, the view location tracks privilege is required, and the user must have track views shared with them. For more information, see privileges in ArcGIS Online or privileges in ArcGIS Enterprise.

Note:

If using ArcGIS Enterprise 10.8 or later, Track Viewer is installed by default. If using an earlier version of ArcGIS Enterprise, you need to install Track Viewer. See ArcGIS Enterprise configuration of Track Viewer for additional information about the requirements for specific versions of ArcGIS Enterprise.

How do I deploy ArcGIS Enterprise to support location tracking in Field Maps?

The location tracking capability is included with the base deployment of ArcGIS Enterprise 10.7 or later. To learn about the various deployment patterns and recommended specs, see ArcGIS Tracker Deployment Guide for ArcGIS Enterprise.

Does Esri have an API for developers to use location tracking?

No. The logic used by ArcGIS Field Maps for storing, managing, and uploading tracks is not available as an API. However, you can use app links to remotely launch the Field Maps mobile app from your apps.

Do I need ArcGIS GeoEvent Server to use the location tracking capability in ArcGIS Field Maps with ArcGIS Enterprise?

No. The location tracking capability is included with the base deployment of ArcGIS Enterprise 10.7 or later. The spatiotemporal big data store that ArcGIS Field Maps requires is included in the base deployment and doesn't require ArcGIS GeoEvent Server.

However, you can complement location tracking with ArcGIS GeoEvent Server. By pairing the location tracking of ArcGIS Field Maps with the geofencing capabilities of ArcGIS GeoEvent Server, you can gain new insight into business processes. For example, you can be notified when a mobile worker has arrived at or left a work location. This insight may help you more effectively manage your field workforce.

Can I use ArcGIS GeoAnalytics Server to analyze location tracks?

Yes. ArcGIS GeoAnalytics Server includes many tools that can be used to provide meaningful analysis, and it is a good addition to the base deployment of ArcGIS Enterprise to learn more from your location tracks. A few examples include the following:

  • Reconstruct Tracks—Create lines from track points, showing direction and generating a new line network. The line network can then be turned into a transportation network.
  • Aggregate Points—Analyze coverage over an area, such as the area searched during a rescue operation, or the percentage of a utility corridor covered when performing an inspection.
  • Detect Incidents—Identify rapid changes in speed.
  • Find Point Clusters—Identify frequently visited locations by using a density-based clustering method on the movement of your mobile workers.

Where can I learn more about the location tracking layer?

See Location tracking layer for more information.

Location tracking in the mobile app

How does tracking work in the Field Maps mobile app?

Mobile workers turn tracking on and off in the ArcGIS Field Maps mobile app. While it's on, their location is recorded whether they are using the app or it's running in the background. On Android, a background service tracks the mobile worker even when the app is closed. On iOS, if the app is closed, tracking can be automatically restarted in the background without user interaction if a significant location change occurs (generally a Wi-Fi or cellular network change).

Field Maps relies on fused location providers that determine location through available on-device hardware, including (but not limited to) Wi-Fi, GPS, and cellular networks. These locations are stored locally on the device until they're uploaded to the location tracking layer. The minimum distance required between points is set based on the mobile worker's activity. A minimum of 5 meters between points is required when walking, 30 meters when driving, and 10 meters for other activity types.

Tracks are uploaded regularly when the mobile worker has a data connection. While the device is plugged in and either charged or charging with at least 20 percent of the battery available, tracks are uploaded every 60 seconds. Otherwise, they're uploaded every 10 minutes. This is done automatically: the mobile worker doesn't need to initiate the upload. When tracks are uploaded, those older than 72 hours are removed from the device.

Separately, the last known location of the mobile is updated every 60 seconds (independent of the device charging and battery state).

Can an organization automatically start and stop location tracking on a mobile device?

No. The mobile worker is in complete control of when they are recorded and sharing their location with others.

Can mobile workers see the locations of other mobile workers in the Field Maps mobile app?

No. Field Maps displays the current and previous locations of the signed-in worker. It is not a viewer for the locations of others.

While mobile workers can only see their tracks, other users who are not administrators—such as supervisors and field crew chiefs—need to view the tracks of others. A track view contains the last known locations and tracks of a set of mobile workers. Anyone with the privilege to view location tracks and access to a track view can view the tracks of the specified mobile workers. For more information, see View tracks.

Will using location tracking in the Field Maps mobile app drain my device's battery?

Yes, any running app uses the battery. However, the impact of location tracking in Field Maps is minimal. To improve battery life by optimally using the GPS while tracking, the motion of the device is monitored. While the device is moving, high-accuracy locations are requested by and passed to the app. While it's stationary, low-accuracy locations are requested on iOS (generally not requiring the GPS), and location requests are stopped on Android.

Battery life is also improved by how tracks are uploaded. Field Maps minimizes network traffic by uploading tracks in batches, reducing the time it needs to keep the network chipset active. Additionally, the app alters the upload frequency based on the state of the device battery. When unplugged, Field Maps attempts to upload tracks every 10 minutes. While your device is plugged in and either charged or charging with at least 20 percent of the battery available, tracks are uploaded every 60 seconds.

To learn more, see Optimize battery life.

Does location tracking in the Field Maps mobile app work offline?

Yes. Once a mobile worker has signed in to Field Maps and has started tracking, tracks are collected whether or not the device has a data connection. All tracks are stored locally on the device until they are uploaded to the location tracking layer.

How does location tracking work when there is no GPS signal?

Although location tracking in Field Maps works when there is no data connection, meaning no Internet access is required, it does rely on multiple hardware components to determine the mobile worker's location. The most important is the GPS receiver. Field Maps records all positions that it receives, independent of GPS accuracy. Both horizontal and vertical accuracy of positions are recorded and can be used to filter the tracks later.

In some cases, Field Maps may not receive a GPS signal and may not have enough other auxiliary information to determine a location. In those scenarios, tracks won't be recorded. One example of when this may occur is when the device is underground (for example, the mobile worker is on the subway, in a basement, or in a tunnel). In many instances, GPS positions can be acquired when the device is in airplane mode.

Will Field Maps record locations indoors?

Field Maps relies on the Android and iOS location services for positions. It doesn't honor any indoor positioning APIs. If you're looking for indoor location tracking, see ArcGIS Indoors.

How are tracks removed from the device?

To remove all tracks from the device, sign out of the app. This removes the local geodatabase that stores the tracks and all tracks that it contains.

To control the size of the database on the device, tracks that have been uploaded are removed from the device if they are more than 72 hours old.

What happens when a mobile worker signs out of the app?

When a mobile worker signs out, their information is cleared from the app, including the following:

  • Tracks are removed from the device, and the geodatabase that was used is deleted.

Signing in again as the same user doesn't restore the removed information.

What location mode is recommended for Android devices?

Android devices support four location modes: high accuracy, battery saving, device/sensor only, and off. It's recommended that mobile workers on Android use high accuracy mode. This generally provides the best location accuracy by using a combination of GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and mobile networks. Since Field Maps efficiently requests locations and minimizes its impact on battery life, you can use high accuracy mode and get the most accurate locations.

How is the value for the location track's activity attribute determined?

Each track point has an associated activity, which is an integer value representing one of the following:

IntegerActivity

0

Unknown

1

Stationary

2

Walking

3

Running

4

Cycling

5

Automotive

The activity is determined by Core Motion on iOS and ActivityRecognitionClient on Android, with ArcGIS Field Maps honoring the activities common between the two systems. Each of these APIs relies on sensors including accelerometers, gyroscopes, the pedometer, the magnetometer, and the barometer of your device. If you constantly see a value of Unknown, it's possible your device has limited sensors available.