Share location

Location sharing is an organization-wide capability that allows you to record where mobile workers are and where they have been. When you enable location sharing, licensed users in your organization can use the ArcGIS Field Maps mobile app to upload their location tracks to the location sharing layer. The tracks are secure in the location sharing layer—mobile workers only see their own tracks, and additional permissions are required to view the tracks of others. Once location sharing is enabled, administrators can use the Track Viewer web app to share the last known location and track data with other users in the organization by creating track views.

ArcGIS Field Maps supports location sharing using the location sharing layer in two apps: the Track Viewer web app and the ArcGIS Field Maps mobile app. The Track Viewer web app allows administrators to create track views, defining which users have tracks included in the view and who can view those tracks. The Field Maps mobile app is optimized for sharing locations in the background, minimizing the impact on device battery. The mobile app records tracks online or offline and can use maps configured with indoor positioning systems (IPS) to record locations indoors. The mobile app also allows mobile workers to control when location sharing is enabled or disabled on their device.

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Enable location sharing

As an administrator of your ArcGIS organization or a member with the privilege to manage utility service settings, you can enable location sharing for your members. For more information, see Enable location sharing.

Sign in

Mobile workers sign in to ArcGIS Field Maps using either their ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise account. If they're using ArcGIS Enterprise, they must enter the URL to the portal. This is the same URL you enter in the browser to access the portal, for example, https://myportal.mycompany.com/arcgis. They can provide the URL by scanning a barcode or QR code.

License:

Mobile workers must meet the ArcGIS account requirements to sign in and use location sharing.

For more information, see Sign in to ArcGIS Field Maps.

Start sharing location

Mobile workers turn location sharing on and off in the Field Maps mobile app. While location sharing is on, their location is recorded whether they are using the app or it's running in the background, and tracks are collected if the device is online or offline. If indoor positioning systems (IPS) are configured for the map, Field Maps will use IPS to record indoor locations while the map is open. Start sharing location in the Field Maps mobile app by completing the following steps:

  1. Open the mobile app and, if you are not signed in, sign in using your ArcGIS account.
  2. Tap the My Tracks map card toggle button in the Maps list to turn on location sharing and set the duration.

    My Tracks map card

    Note:

    If you have an Apple Watch paired to your iOS device, you can use the watchOS companion app to start and stop location sharing. You must start location sharing at least once on your iPhone or iPad before using Field Maps on your Apple Watch. See the Field Maps mobile app requirements for more information.

  3. Tap Allow while using the app when prompted to allow Field Maps access to your location.
  4. Tap OK when prompted to allow Field Maps access to your motion fitness and activity, and tap Allow when prompted to allow Field Maps to send you notifications.

    Caution:
    If you don't allow Field Maps access to your motion fitness and activity, it can't record your location.

  5. Tap the My Tracks map card to open the map. Your location appears on the map. If you included an image with your account profile, the image is used to mark your location.

    Note:

    The My tracks map uses the default basemap set for your organization. See Set the default basemap in ArcGIS Online or Set the default basemap in ArcGIS Enterprise.

    Tip:

    In addition to the My Tracks map card, you can turn location sharing on and off in the following ways:

    • When viewing a map in the Field Maps mobile app, tap the Location banner and tap the Location Sharing toggle button to turn location sharing on and set the duration.
    • Use a Field Maps link to turn location sharing on and set the duration.

For more information, see How does location sharing work in the Field Maps mobile app? in the FAQ topic.

Require location sharing

You can require location sharing for specific maps using the Field Maps web app. If a map requires location sharing, mobile workers are prompted to enable location sharing after tapping the map on the Maps list. If mobile workers turn location sharing off, they are no longer able to access a map that requires location sharing.

Note:

If the map contains a geofence that triggers location sharing, it takes precedent over the require location sharing setting. While location sharing is still required for the map, location tracks will only be recorded when they enter or exit the geofence.

Enable location sharing with geofences

You can add geofences to the map using the Field Maps web app that automatically enable or disable location sharing when mobile workers enter or exit an area. If a map contains geofences that trigger location sharing, mobile workers are prompted to enable location sharing after tapping the map on the Maps list. If mobile workers turn location sharing off, they are no longer able to access the map.

Depending on how you configured the geofence, tracks are only recorded when mobile workers are inside or outside the area you defined. To see whether their tracks are currently being recorded, mobile workers can tap the Location banner while viewing the map in the Field Maps mobile app.

Provide instructions for location sharing

  1. Download the location sharing instructions template..
  2. Follow the instructions in the document to customize the template and share it with mobile workers.

Optimize battery life

Field Maps optimizes the battery life of your device when sharing your location by monitoring your activity status. While the device is moving, high-accuracy locations are requested by and passed to the app. While the device is stationary, low-accuracy locations are requested. To best optimize the battery life of your mobile device, set location access to Always in the location settings for Field Maps.

Note:

If you want high-accuracy locations captured regardless of activity status, you can turn off battery optimization. While viewing the Maps list, tap Profile Profile. Tap Location Sharing & Alerts and turn off the Battery Optimization toggle button.

Upload tracks

Tracks are uploaded to the location sharing layer regularly when you have a network connection. 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. Otherwise, they're uploaded every 10 minutes. This is done automatically—you don't need to initiate the upload. Your last known location is updated every 60 seconds by default (independent of your device charging and battery state). Once tracks are uploaded, those older than 72 hours are removed from the device.

Note:

While tracks are uploaded automatically, you can initiate a manual upload whenever you're online and have pending tracks. While viewing the Maps list, tap Profile Profile. Tap Location Sharing & Alerts and then tap Upload Now.

Mobile workers can share their location offline. When tracks are recorded offline, they are stored indefinitely on the device until they are able to be uploaded. Once the mobile worker is in a connected environment, the tracks will upload automatically. Once tracks are uploaded, those older than 72 hours are removed from the device. Tracks are not removed from the device unless they've been uploaded.

View tracks

Mobile workers can view their tracks in the Field Maps mobile app, and administrators, supervisors, and others with appropriate permissions can use the Track Viewer web app to view the tracks of mobile workers.

View tracks in the mobile app

Mobile workers can view their tracks in the Field Maps mobile app as long as the tracks are stored on their device. Once tracks are uploaded, those older than 72 hours are removed from the device. For more information, see Upload tracks.

In addition to the My Tracks map, you can view your tracks in any map in Field Maps. To view your tracks in a map, tap Layers Layers, and turn on My Tracks. You can view tracks stored on your device whether or not you have an internet connection.

You may not want to see all of your tracks. Use the Track Display Options settings to choose the time frame you want to display. Tap Options under the My Tracks layer to open the Display options menu. The time frame you select applies to viewing tracks in Field Maps as well as in other mobile apps on the same device.

Track Display Options

While viewing tracks in Field Maps, tap a track to view information at that point. Depending on the information your device collected, you may see the date and time the track was collected, the type of activity you were doing, your speed of travel when it was collected, and the accuracy and coordinates of the location. You can configure the coordinate units in your Profile settings Profile.

While all track points are recorded and uploaded, lower-quality points are not used to generate the track lines. You can disable smart rendering if you want all track points included in the track lines. To disable smart rendering, tap Layers Layers, and tap Options under the My Tracks layer. Tap the option to disable smart rendering.

View tracks in the Track Viewer web app

While mobile workers can only see their own tracks, other users who are not administrators—such as supervisors and others with the appropriate permissions—need to view the tracks of multiple mobile workers. 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. To learn how to create track views in the Track Viewer web app, see Create track views.

Once track viewers have access to tracks, they can view them in the Track Viewer web app or another map or app. Track Viewer provides an overview of the last known locations and tracks of mobile workers and allows the track viewer to perform simple filtering and analysis. To learn how to view tracks in the Track Viewer web app, see View tracks.

If you need a more complete picture of the locations of your mobile workers and where they've been in relation to other assets and information, add the hosted feature layer view of the tracks to your own map or app. You can also use the tracks to perform advanced analysis in ArcGIS. To use the tracks layer in your own maps and apps, see Track layers.

Additionally, you can use track categories to symbolize and filter tracks in maps, dashboards, and other apps. For more information, see Add track categories in the Field Maps web app.

Location track security

While tracks are collected using the Field Maps mobile app, they are stored in an SQLite database on the mobile device. Each tracked location is created by the user signed in to the app, and editor tracking stores this information with the tracked location. When a user signs out of the Field Maps mobile app, the SQLite database is removed. Other users who use the app on the device don't have access to the tracks of previous users.

Note:

To learn more about deploying cloud and enterprise GIS in compliance with privacy regulations, such as GDPR, for location sharing services, see ArcGIS Location Tracking Privacy Best Practices.

Additional resources

The following are additional resources for using the location sharing capability in ArcGIS Field Maps: