Skip To Content

FAQ

General

Location tracking layer

Web app

Mobile app

What is Tracker for ArcGIS?

Tracker for ArcGIS is a mobile solution that allows you to capture the locations of mobile users, monitor where they are, and analyze where they've been. With this comprehensive view of location track patterns, decision makers gain real-time information that supports critical field activities.

Tracker for ArcGIS includes a mobile app for Android and iOS that runs efficiently in the background to capture location tracks, then feeds these tracks directly into a location tracking layer, a new capability in ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise 10.7 or later. Administrators can use the included Track Viewer web app to manage the security of location tracks, allowing authorized users to see last known locations and location tracks for other users.

How do I install and authorize Tracker for ArcGIS?

Tracker for ArcGIS includes two apps:

  • Tracker for ArcGIS mobile app
  • Track Viewer web app

The Tracker for ArcGIS mobile app is available on Google Play for Android devices and the App Store for iPad and iPhone. The Tracker mobile app is a premium app that requires you to purchase and assign an add-on 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.

Note:

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

The Track Viewer web app is accessed through your portal. How you access it depends on the software you're using:

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:

To use Tracker for ArcGIS, location tracking must be enabled for your organization.

What's the licensing of the app?

Tracker for ArcGIS 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 and Licensing Terms of Use.

How does Tracker for ArcGIS differ from the tracking done in Workforce for ArcGIS and in previous versions of Collector for ArcGIS?

Location tracking is now an organization-wide capability, backed by a new type of location tracking layer. All location tracks are now stored in a single layer and associated with the user. In Workforce, last known locations existed in the context of the Workforce project. In Collector, a layer could be created and used for each map.

Additionally, Tracker supports collecting tracks in both the foreground and the background. It is optimized to efficiently collect points and has little impact on battery life.

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

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

Do I need ArcGIS GeoEvent Server to use Tracker for ArcGIS with ArcGIS Enterprise?

No. The new location tracking capability is included with the base deployment of ArcGIS Enterprise 10.7 or later. The spatiotemporal big data store that Tracker for ArcGIS 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 Tracker for ArcGIS 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 user has arrived at or left a work location. This insight might help you more effectively manage your field workforce.

Can I use ArcGIS GeoAnalytics Server to analyze location tracks?

Yes. ArcGIS GeoAnalytics Server has 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 users.

Does using Tracker for ArcGIS with ArcGIS Online consume credits?

No. The location tracking layer does not consume credits for storage. For more information about how credits are used in ArcGIS Online, see Understand credits.

How can I give feedback on Tracker for ArcGIS?

The Tracker for ArcGIS team wants to hear from you about the app. If you have feedback or inquiries, send an email to Tracker4ArcGIS@esri.com. You can also provide feedback within the Tracker for ArcGIS GeoNet community page.

What information is stored in the location tracking layer?

The location tracking layer stores the last known location of each mobile user, as well as full historical tracks of where the mobile user has been. These are stored in two layers: Last Known Locations and Tracks. The layers have identical schema, including attributes for activity, altitude (in meters), battery percentage, battery state, created date and user (used by ownership-based access to determine who can see which tracks), course, floor, horizontal accuracy (in meters), last edited date, last edited user, location time stamp, speed (in meters per second), vertical accuracy (in meters), session ID, signal strength, and device ID.

How are last known locations and location tracks shared with other users?

Location tracks are stored in your organization. With ownership-based access control (OBAC) enabled on the location tracking layer, users can only see their own tracks. Users who need to see additional tracks must have the view location tracks privilege and be assigned to a group that contains the track view they need to access. Administrators (including the one who creates the location tracking layer) can access all tracks in the layer.

The privilege to view location tracks is granted to administrators by default and can be added to custom roles. Administrators create track views in the Track Viewer web app, defining the mobile users whose tracks are included in it. The administrator also adds the track viewers who can see the last known locations and tracks of the included mobile users. When a track view is created, an associated group in ArcGIS Online or group in ArcGIS Enterprise that controls access to the track view is also created. Adding track viewers to the track view adds them to the group.

Once track viewers have access to tracks, they can view them in the Track Viewer web app or another map or app. A track view is a hosted feature layer view that can be used throughout ArcGIS for visualization and analysis.

Can the location tracking layer be used in other apps?

Yes, you can use the tracks from the location tracking layer in other maps and apps.

  • If you are an administrator, you can use the location tracking layer to view all tracks in the layer.
  • If you are not an administrator but you have the view location tracks privilege, you can view all the tracks in track views you can access. You can add the hosted feature layer view created as part of the track view to other apps and maps and see all the tracks it contains.
  • Tracks in ArcGIS Online can only be exported as shapefiles or CSV files.
  • ArcGIS Online analysis tools cannot be used on location tracking layers.

Can I add my own fields to the location tracking layer?

No, this is not supported. However, you can use Arcade to write expressions and display the values in pop-ups and labels.

Can I delete track points from the location tracking layer?

Yes. Although the location tracking layer doesn't advertise the delete capability in the feature layer definition, administrators can delete tracks through ArcGIS REST API using the delete features operation. Go to the delete features REST endpoint for the tracks layer, where you can specify a where clause or object IDs to identify and delete tracks. The URL of the delete features REST endpoint follows the format https://host.domain.com/webadaptor/rest/services/Hosted/location_tracking/FeatureServer/0/deleteFeatures (where host, domain, and webadaptor are replaced by the information about your server).

Why can't I sign in to the web app?

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. Make sure your account is part of an ArcGIS organization (ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise 10.7 or later) and that it meets the ArcGIS account requirements. To use the web app, you must be an administrator or have the view location tracks privilege. For more information, see privileges in ArcGIS Online or privileges in ArcGIS Enterprise.

Why can't I sign in to the mobile app?

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. Make sure your account is part of an ArcGIS organization (ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise 10.7 or later) and that it meets the ArcGIS account requirements. If you're using ArcGIS Enterprise, verify the URL to your portal instance, for example, https://myportal.mycompany.com/arcgis. To use the mobile app, your ArcGIS account must have a Tracker for ArcGIS license, and location tracking must be enabled for your organization.

How does tracking work?

Mobile users turn tracking on and off in the Tracker for ArcGIS 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 user 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).

Tracker 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 user'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 user 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 user doesn't need to initiate the upload. The mobile user can upload immediately using the Upload Now button in their profile. When tracks are uploaded, those older than 72 hours are removed from the device.

Separately, the last known location of the mobile user is updated every 60 seconds (independent of the device charging and battery state). It can be configured to every 30 seconds if needed for situational awareness workflows.

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

No. The mobile user is in complete control of when they are recorded and sharing their location with others. They can set reminders and notify themselves to start and stop tracking each day on iOS, or define a schedule in the app for tracking to automatically start and stop on Android. But this is determined on the device by the mobile user.

Adding the ability to support a time duration after which Tracker would automatically stop tracking is under consideration. If you have need for this ability, send an email with information about your use case to tracker4arcgis@esri.com.

Can mobile users see the location of other mobile users in the Tracker mobile app?

No. Tracker displays the current and previous locations of the signed-in user. The app is designed to turn tracking on and off and then be left in the background on the device. It is not a viewer for the locations of others.

Some mobile users may need to view the location tracks of others, for example, supervisors or field crew chiefs. These users should consider Explorer for ArcGIS, a great app for showing the last known location of others, along with additional map layers that provide context to what is being done in the field.

Will the Tracker mobile app drain my device's battery?

Yes, any running app uses the battery. However, the impact of Tracker 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. Tracker 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, Tracker 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.

Can the Tracker mobile app work offline?

Yes. Once a mobile user has signed in to Tracker 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.

What happens when there is no GPS signal?

Although Tracker works when there is no data connection, meaning no Internet access is required, it does rely on multiple hardware components to determine the mobile user's location. The most important is the GPS receiver. Tracker 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, Tracker 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 user 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.

Does Tracker support high-accuracy GPS receivers?

Yes, Tracker uses locations supplied by a high-accuracy GPS receiver. However, it won't record any of the metadata associated with the high-accuracy receiver.

Will Tracker record locations indoors?

Tracker 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 the mobile user signs out of the app?

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

  • Tracks and logs are removed from the device, and the geodatabase that was used is deleted.
  • The schedule is removed.
  • All app settings are reset.

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 users 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 Tracker 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 Tracker for ArcGIS 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.

Can I install a previous version of the mobile app?

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