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Perform a survey

Perform surveys with IPS Setup

You can use IPS Setup to collect radio reference data for an indoor positioning system by creating and surveying paths that pass through every area where you want to enable ArcGIS IPS. It is recommended that you survey each area in both directions of the planned survey path to ensure sufficient data collection.

Plan a survey

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

Before starting the survey, ensure that the survey device's sensors are enabled.

If you planned survey paths in advance, a pop-up appears when you start the survey, with the following options:

  • Select existing path—Provides a list of available survey recording paths that can be run immediately without 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 surveyed and can be used if the indoor positioning areas need to be surveyed again. Surveyed paths appear with a green buffer around them.
    Select an existing survey path on iOS.
  • Create new path—Provides an option to sketch and survey a path if planned paths are not available for an area or floor designated for ArcGIS IPS.

It is important to plan as many survey recordings as necessary to ensure that the entire site is covered. To create a survey path that effectively covers a floor plan, place survey points at least every 30 to 60 feed (10 to 20 meters) and at each point of direction change. Placing survey points near visible landmarks can aid in locating them when performing 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; 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 continuously without stopping or pausing. Sketch a path that is at least 10 meters (30 feet) long and can be recorded in three minutes or less to reduce the chances of mistakes or interruptions.
  • At least one survey point must be located within each building level.

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 ArcGIS 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 to survey.

    To enable the floor picker in a map that contains multiple facilities, zoom to or tap the facility to work on it.

  4. Tap Survey.

    If the sensor check bar is red, a pop-up message appears on the screen indicating that the survey cannot be started. 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 facility, 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 path Save path—Saves the path to the planned paths section and enables an alternative to the desktop survey planning workflow.
    • Load path Load path—Displays the planned paths list and allows existing paths to be loaded, modified, and surveyed.
    • Undo Undo—Undoes the previous action.
  12. Tap Finish to complete the path.

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

Record a survey

Once you add survey points and sketch the path in Plan mode or load an existing path from the planned or surveyed list, you can start performing a survey. The device collects Bluetooth signals from beacons placed in your vicinity. Collected signal strength readings are used to build a radio fingerprint map when using the survey-based method of the Generate Indoor Positioning Dataset tool in ArcGIS Pro. To record a survey, start at the first survey point on the selected path and walk along the planned survey path. Ensure that each survey point is as accurate as possible when you reach its location. Surveys should be at least 10 seconds long, contain at least two survey points, and be limited to approximately three minutes to maintain concentration and avoid interruptions.

When you finish a survey, you are prompted to reverse your path and record from the opposite direction. This can reduce the influence of the shadowing effect caused by the human body on the radio signal.

When you reverse a path, IPS Setup stays in Survey mode and the path begins at the last survey point. Alternatively, you can edit the path in Plan mode and save sketched survey paths using the options button.


Use devices of the same brand and model to record all surveys for a site. Using devices of different brands can negatively affect the quality of the indoor positioning data and the ArcGIS IPS 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 Zoom to Location Zoom to Location to center the map at your location.

  2. Tap Start Recording.

    IPS Setup records the radio signals continuously during the survey. Keep the phone oriented in the direction of travel throughout the recording so that the direction of movement remains unchanged in the sensor's frame of reference. Follow the planned path as closely as possible at a steady pace.

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

    Follow the planned path as closely as possible. Confirm that the survey points are 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 completed and can be upload to the IPS Recordings feature service.

When you have surveyed every area in the facility where you want to enable ArcGIS IPS, you can use the recordings to create and enable indoor positioning data.

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 indoor positioning data.

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, survey recordings are cached and their status is displayed in the Recordings list. Once a connection is established, the upload process starts 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, and surveyor names, or identify potential mistakes during a recording.

  3. Tap Upload 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 can start surveying the reversed path immediately. Alternatively, if you manually created a survey path, the app opens in Plan mode and you can edit the reversed survey path before conducting it.

  5. Note:

    To review 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 use the Generate Indoor Positioning Dataset tool to create indoor positioning data using the collected survey data.

Once survey recordings are processed and the indoor positioning data is successfully added to the IPS_Positioning_Datasets, IPS_Positioning_Points feature classes, and the IPS_Positioning_Signals table, share the Indoor Positioning Data Service and use it to enable IPS for your map. Then, return to the IPS Setup app to test the positioning accuracy.