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Perform a survey

Perform surveys with IPS Setup

To collect radio reference data for an indoor positioning system, use ArcGIS IPS Setup to plan, record, and upload survey data that can be used to enable indoor positioning in your facilities.

To enable IPS for a facility, you must create survey paths that pass through every room and corridor where IPS will be enabled. Survey each area twice, moving in opposite directions, to ensure that enough data is collected to create a robust indoor positioning system.

Plan a survey

Survey planning can be completed remotely in ArcGIS Pro prior to the site visit or done onsite using Plan mode in the IPS Setup app.

Before starting the survey, ensure that the device sensors are enabled and use the floor picker to choose the floor you want to work on from Map mode.

Once you launch Survey mode, the floor picker is locked. If you planned the survey paths in advance, when you launch the survey a pop-up appears with the following options:

  • Select existing path—Provides a list of available survey recording paths that can be run immediately without the need for manual sketching and modifications. When you choose this option, a list of survey paths that have been planned for the active floor in the facility appears. Existing survey paths are split into the following categories:
    • Planned—Paths that are prepared in advance and facilitate a faster and more efficient survey.
    • Surveyed—Paths that were already surveyed and can be used if the IPS areas need to be resurveyed.
    Select an existing survey path on Android
  • Create new path—Provides an option to sketch and survey a path in sequence if planned paths are not available for an area or floor designated for IPS.


If you want to resurvey a completed path, you can choose it from a list of available paths. This option is available for surveys you planned in ArcGIS Pro or IPS Setup.

When sketching a survey path, it is important to plan multiple survey recordings throughout an area so that the whole site is covered, and every piece of data can be gathered. To create a survey path that effectively covers a floor plan, place survey points at least every 30 to 60 feet and at each point of direction change. When surveying for long stretches, placing survey points near visible landmarks can aid in locating them when recording the survey. Survey each area in both directions to ensure that sufficient reference data is created. For example, if you survey a corridor that runs north to south, survey it walking north, and then reverse your path to survey it going south.


Keep the following in mind when sketching a survey path:

  • Sketch the survey path at the location where you want to record. This will help prevent survey paths that go through solid objects such as walls, columns, or furniture.
  • Place a survey point on each location along the survey path where the direction changes, such as turning a corner.
  • A survey plan must contain at least two points—one to represent the start and one to represent the end of a survey path.
  • A survey must be performed in its entirety without stopping or pausing. Sketch a path that is at least 30 feet long and that can be recorded in three minutes or less.

To plan a survey using IPS Setup, complete the following steps:

  1. Open IPS Setup and sign in if necessary.

    The map list appears and displays the web maps with an IPS tag that are shared to your ArcGIS organization.

  2. Tap the name of the web map you want to open.

    The web map opens in Map mode.


    In areas with limited connectivity, you can load a map while connected and survey a facility without a connection. For example, you can load a map using a stable online connection while outside or while connected to a Wi-Fi network, and enter a facility to conduct the survey. In such situations, recordings are cached in the recordings list and automatically uploaded when a connection is established.

  3. Tap the floor picker and choose the floor you want to survey.

    To enable the floor picker in a map that contains multiple facilities, zoom to the facility you want to work with.

  4. Tap Survey.

    If the sensor check bar is red, a message appears on the bar and the survey cannot start. Tap the sensor check bar to open the Sensor Check menu and resolve any sensor issues, such as poor compass accuracy or no Bluetooth connection.

    If planned surveys are available for the selected map and floor, a pop-up appears with the option to choose an existing path or create a new one.

  5. Choose Create new path.
  6. Pan and zoom the map to center the crosshairs over the survey starting point.
  7. Tap the Add Survey Point button to add the first survey point.
  8. Pan the map to center the crosshairs over the next survey point location.

    A dotted line appears showing the potential survey path.

  9. Tap the Add Survey Point button to add the next survey point.
  10. Create additional survey points as needed.
  11. Optionally, tap the options button Options in the Survey Point pane to edit the survey path. Choose from the following options:
    • Reverse path Reverse path—Changes the direction of the sketched path by converting the last survey point into the first survey point.
    • Remove last survey point Remove last survey point—Removes the last survey point that was added.
    • Discard all survey points Discard all survey points—Removes all survey points.
    • Save PathSave path—Saves the path to the planned paths section and enables an alternative to the desktop survey planning workflow.
    • Load PathLoad path—Displays the planned paths list and allows existing paths to be loaded, modified, and surveyed.
    • Undo Undo—Undoes the previous action.
  12. Tap the finish button Checkmark to complete the path.

    Once you finish sketching a survey path, you can perform a survey recording for that path.

Record a survey

Once you add your survey points and sketch the path in Plan mode or load an existing path from the planned or surveyed list, you can record a survey. When you record a survey, the device collects Bluetooth signals from beacons placed in your facilities and uses them to build a radio fingerprint map. To record a survey, start at the first survey point on the selected path and travel along the planned survey path. Confirm each survey point when you reach its location. Surveys should be at least 10 seconds long, contain at least two points, and be limited to approximately three minutes to maintain concentration and avoid obstacles.

When you finish a survey, you are prompted to reverse your path. Reversing the path and recording from the opposite direction ensures that radio reference data is collected from both directions, which contributes to data integrity. When you reverse a path, the app switches to Plan mode. If your finished survey was launched from there, you can return to the survey and the path will start at the last survey point. Alternatively, you can continue to edit the path in Plan mode and save sketched survey paths via the options button.


Use devices of the same brand and model to record all surveys for a site. Combining recording device brands and models can negatively affect the quality of the positioning file and overall accuracy.

After sketching a new path or selecting an existing path, complete the following steps to capture the survey recording:

  1. Position yourself at the first survey recording point.

    Tap the Zoom to Location button Zoom to Location to center the map at your location.

  2. Tap the Start Recording button.

    IPS Setup records continuously during the survey. Keep the phone oriented in the direction of travel throughout the recording period and follow the planned path as closely as possible. Directional information from the mobile device helps establish an accurate survey path.

  3. Move at a steady pace toward the next survey point and tap the Confirm Survey Point button when you reach it without stopping or pausing.

    Follow the planned path as closely as possible. Confirm the survey points in the specific places they were placed when sketched in Plan mode. For example, if you sketched a point near a wall, move to and confirm the point near the wall.

  4. Confirm each survey point location in order until you reach the last one.

    Once the last survey point is confirmed, the recording stops and the Upload button appears. The survey recording is complete and you can now upload it to the IPS Recordings feature service.

When you have surveyed every area in the facility where you want to enable IPS, you can use the recordings to create a positioning file.

Upload a survey recording

When you confirm the final survey point on a path, the survey automatically ends and the Upload Recording button appears. You can now upload the survey to your ArcGIS organization and use it to create an indoor positioning file.

To upload a survey recording, complete the following steps:

  1. Tap Upload Recording to upload the recording to the IPS Recordings feature service.

    If an internet connection is not available, the upload process will be interrupted, and the recordings will be cached in the Recordings list. Once a connection is established, the upload process is restarted automatically.

  2. Optionally, add comments about the survey recording in the text box in the Upload menu.

    Comments can be used to keep track of survey areas, the direction of survey recordings, surveyor names, or identify potential mistakes during a recording.

  3. Tap the finish button Checkmark to upload the survey recording.
    The survey recording is added to the IPS Recordings feature service. If there is no connection, the recording is automatically uploaded when a stable connection is available.

    Once the survey is uploaded, you have the option to reverse the path.

  4. Optionally, reverse the path.

    If you choose to reverse the path after initially selecting an existing survey path, you are ready to start surveying the reversed path immediately. Alternately, if you manually created a survey path, the app opens in Plan mode and you can edit the reversed survey path before conducting it. When you are ready to begin the survey, tap the finish button Checkmark to start recording from the final survey point on the original path.

  5. Note:
    To check the status of the survey recordings, open the Recordings menu from the map list.

When you finish surveying a facility, sign in to your ArcGIS organization to review the IPS Recordings feature service and verify that all the survey recordings have been added. If all the recordings were successfully added, you can run the Generate Indoor Positioning File tool and create a positioning file.

Once survey data is processed and successfully added to the IPS Positioning table, return to IPS Setup to test the positioning file for accuracy and completeness.