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. Field Maps 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. It also allows mobile workers to control when location sharing is enabled or disabled on their device.
This topic provides information on how to share location in the Field Maps mobile app. To learn how to enable and administer location sharing for your organization, see Enable location sharing.
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.
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 Field Maps by completing the following steps:
- Open Field Maps and, if you are not signed in, sign in using your ArcGIS account.
- Tap the My Tracks map card toggle button in the Maps list to turn on location sharing and set the duration.
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.
- Tap Allow while using the app when prompted to allow Field Maps access to your location.
- 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.
- 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.
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 Field Maps, 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.
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.
If you want high-accuracy locations captured regardless of activity status, you can turn off battery optimization. While viewing the Maps list, tap Profile . Tap Location Sharing & Alerts and turn off the Battery Optimization toggle button.
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.
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 . Tap Location Sharing & Alerts and 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. Tracks are not removed from the device unless they've been uploaded.
View tracks in Field Maps
Mobile workers can view their tracks in the Field Maps mobile app as long as the tracks are stored on their device. For more information, see the Upload tracks section above.
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 , 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.
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 .
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 , and tap Options under the My Tracks layer. Tap the option to disable smart rendering.
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 Field Maps, the SQLite database is removed. Other users who use the app on the device don't have access to the tracks of previous users.
To learn more about deploying cloud and enterprise GIS in compliance with privacy regulations, such as GDPR, for location sharing services, see ArcGIS Location Sharing Privacy Best Practices.