Skip navigation
All Places > ArcGIS QuickCapture > Blog
1 2 Previous Next

ArcGIS QuickCapture

17 posts

QuickCapture 1.5 is now available!  You can download the latest update into your mobile device and enjoy many new enhancements in the QuickCapture website too!  Lets have a quick look at the highlights of this release:

 

Workflow automation with Integromat

 

Capturing data quickly is not enough; being able to get that data to people who need it, where they need it, is what makes the real difference. For this reason, we are introducing support for Integromat in QuickCapture. Integromat is a powerful workflow automation solution, allowing you to connect many apps and services together.

 

With Integromat, you can easily automate tasks when data from QuickCapture is sent. Automatically send SMS or email notifications, copy your data into third party databases, spreadsheets, etc.  The screenshot below, shows an Integromat scenario configured to automatically send an email notification every time a vehicle accident event is reported from the QuickCapture mobile app.

 

ArcGIS QuickCapture email notification with Integromat

 

While email and SMS notifications are common tasks you will want to automate, you can do much more:

 

  • When a new incident is reported, immediately send an SMS to the division manager.
  • Create an ArcGIS Workforce assignment when a new service request is submitted.
  • Use AI algorithms to classify and label photos submitted.
  • Automatically assign the appropriate asset ID to condition assessments sent.

 

To learn more about ArcGIS QuickCapture and Integromat, check this 4 minute video tutorial:

 

 

Support for Integromat is possible because QuickCapture now can work with webhooks. If you want to create webhooks to target your own custom web services, Google Cloud functions or some other workflow automation providers, you can now do it from the QuickCapture designer.  Simply go to the Project Settings panel and scroll down until you find the Webhooks section.

 

 

Enhanced App Links

 

It is not news that you can use a link to launch the QuickCapture mobile app. It is not news either that your link can open any project you want, have QuickCapture target automatically your enterprise portal and even pass a value to a Project User Input. What is new, is that now you can use app link syntax (sometimes also referred to as universal links), rather than through a deep link (custom url scheme). 

 

Why is this important? Well, it is important because app links are more iOS and Android friendly, allowing you to launch your link from virtually any application in your device.  Through the new app link syntax, for example, you can now launch QuickCapture from other ArcGIS apps, such as as ArcGIS Indoors, Survey123, Collector, Workforce, Explorer, etc.  You can also more safely launch QuickCapture from e-mail clients and even from your own custom mobile apps. The deep link syntax will continue to work as usual. In fact, in Windows deep links are the only supported syntax.

 

This is what an app link to open a QuickCapture project looks like:

https://quickcapture.arcgis.app/?itemId=dcdb68465fbc4c38a6aba7f5165cdfd4

This is the equivalent deep link:

arcgis-quickcapture://?itemId=dcdb68465fbc4c38a6aba7f5165cdfd4

 

Deep links and app links are described in detail in the Integrate with other apps—QuickCapture | Documentation help topic.

 

 

QuickCapture designer enhancements

 

There are great new features in the QuickCapture website that will make managing and designing your QuickCapture projects much easier. Lets have a quick tour of the most important:

 

A new panel on the left side of the QuickCapture designer will now assist you during the design process. Sharing errors, inconsistencies, missing properties, etc.  This new panel will help you follow best practices and fix problems in your project in a heartbeat.

 

 

Starting with this update you can also now control the size of the photos to be submitted from your QuickCapture project. Choose to leave photos at full resolution, or reduce their size to facilitate working in low-bandwidth environments:

 

 

In our last release we added a ‘Save as’ option to duplicate existing projects easily. Some of you suggested we should add a choice to duplicate the project layers as well, so now you have it!

 

 

This update introduces a new template gallery; use it for inspiration or to quick-start your own projects. The gallery features a small collection of templates for now, but we will be adding more in the future. Very soon you will be able to create your own template gallery, so you can help people in your organization get started with templates that are relevant to their own work.

 

 

Other work worth highlighting

 

There are a handful other new features and enhancements that I want to highlight:

 

  • The QuickCapture mobile app now supports PKI authentication.
  • Users of the mobile app can now change the distance units (US standard vs metric)
  • The source code of the QuickCapture mobile app for this release has been made available as an AppStudio enterprise template.

 

We are now deep into 1.6 development, which we plan to make available in July 2020. Our development agenda is loaded with user-driven requests. Thanks to all of you who share with us your work and ideas. You are a constant source of inspiration. Your ideas and feedback are shaping this product.

On April 22, as part of the Esri Transportation GIS Webinar Series, we aired a live Data Collection at Speed with ArcGIS QuickCapture Webinar. In this article you will find a recording of the event as well as a summary of many common questions we received.

 

The video recording is one hour in length and it has the following sections:

 

  • Introduction to Field Data Collection with ArcGIS by Terry Bills
  • Minute 6:40: The basics of ArcGIS QuickCapture and common use cases, by Ismael Chivite and Terry Bills
  • Minute 20:54: Using ArcGIS QuickCapture at the Michigan DOT, by James Hainstock
  • Minute 28:50: How to create your own QuickCapture projects and other things you should know, by Ismael Chivite
  • Minute 39: Live Q&A

 

 

We did address many questions during the event, but there were many others we could not address live, so here is a more complete Q&A for you:

 

  • What are the most common workflows for ArcGIS QuickCapture? QuickCapture is specifically designed to support at-speed and rapid GIS field data collection workflows. Think of situations where field users need minimal distraction to capture geo-referenced field observations: aerial surveys, pass/fail inspections, ROW patrols, quick hazard reporting, etc. The purpose of QuickCapture is to provide the simplest and quickest experience possible for people to capture observations. Tap on the screen, and move on! 
  • What is the difference between QuickCapture and other data collection apps such as Survey123 and Collector? QuickCapture, Survey123 and Collector are all built on top of the ArcGIS platform and as such, leverage the same security model against ArcGIS Online and Enterprise. They also all work on top of ArcGIS feature layers, allow you to capture point, line and polygon geometries, work online and offline and work well with high accuracy GNSS receivers. That's all they have in common but the big differentiator is the user experience they provide to the end user. 

 

  • Buttons: QuickCapture lets you capture field observations quickly with the push of a button. 
  • Forms: Survey123 lets you capture data through a smart form.
  • Maps: Collector lets you capture data through a map.

 

Generally speaking, you will want to carefully look at the workflow at hand and explore which user experience is best for your users. There are many workflows where your decision is not going to make a difference, because any of the three apps could do the job.  There are other situations where selecting one app versus the other will make the difference between success or failure. 

 

In the seminar, we described for example an interesting scenario where QuickCapture was selected for snowplow drivers to easily report hazards while driving. QuickCapture is the right choice because it can be used hands-free, so it will not distract drivers. QuickCapture is plenty for the task, because we simply want to add a point in the map highlighting a hazard of some type.

 

Now, for the maintenance crews that need to follow up on reported hazards, Survey123 was selected. A form is used to report all the work done because that is a more involved process: Maintenance crews need to describe the work done, take photos, document the time spent and materials used, etc.  Survey123 is the right tool for that because a from provides the most natural and efficient user experience.

 

The great thing is, that since QuickCapture and Survey123 all work against ArcGIS feature layers, maintenance crews can work and update the existing hazard GIS features submitted from QuickCapture.

 

There are other workflows where Collector is a good fit. For example, for field crews who need to map assets along the road, a map-centric user experience is ideal, because it allows field users to see different layers of information in a map and even add new records into the map.

 

The above is not a comprehensive answer, but highlights the fundamental difference between the apps, which is the user experience. At Esri, we are building different user experiences for field data capture because we understand that different people and different workflows can require different approaches to data capture. As you gain familiarity with each of the apps, you will naturally learn how to pick the best for the task at hand. You will also learn that in some cases, any of the apps will do the job great.

  • How does QuickCapture integrate with the rest of ArcGIS? QuickCapture is built on ArcGIS so you can easily leverage other ArcGIS apps with data captured from QuickCapture. For example, you can:
    • Build a live ArcGIS dashboard on top of the feature layers where QuickCapture stores data.
    • Perform QA/QC workflows on QuickCapture data using ArcGIS Web AppBuilder or ArcGIS Pro
    • Use QuickCapture to create ArcGIS Workforce assignments
    • Perform follow up work with Survey123 and Collector on top of features initially created in QuickCapture
    • Analyze QuickCapture data from ArcGIS Insights
    • Use the ArcGIS Python API to programmatically create users and share QuickCapture projects
    • etc
  • Can I see all data captured in QuickCapture in a map from the mobile device? Yes. While the main user experience for QuickCapture is a panel with big buttons, you can also look at all your captured data in a map.  For a more detailed discussion on how to configure maps with QuickCapture, check Configuring a map in your ArcGIS QuickCapture project 
  • Is QuickCapture limited to capturing points? No.  You can capture points, lines and even polygons. For example, you can use QuickCapture to capture pavement condition as lines, or sidewalks as you walk through them.   When working with lines and polygons you can configure your project to support nested data capture workflows (capture multiple features at once, for example, guardrail on the left and also on your right...) as well as in exclusive mode (the pavement condition is either good or bad...). Check Understanding Exclusivity Groups in ArcGIS QuickCapture for details.
  • Can QuickCapture work with a high accuracy GNSS receiver: Yes.  Check Use a high-accuracy receiver—QuickCapture | Documentation for more details on how to configure QuickCapture with your own receiver.
  • Why would I want to use an external GNSS receiver with QuickCapture? QuickCapture works by default with the built-in GPS receiver in your device. It does not require additional hardware to run. However, in some cases, using an external GNSS receiver can help you in different ways:
    • More accurate location data: If used correctly, an external GNSS receiver will feed QuickCapture with more accurate locations. The accuracy of the X,Y and Z coordinates of your data will be better and more consistent that with the built-in location sensor.
    • Higher throughput: Generally, built-in location sensors work at 1hz. That is, you get at most 1 position per second. That is plenty for the vast majority of workflows but in some cases you may want more throughput. If you are capturing data while in a moving vehicle, such as a helicopter or a car, you will want that extra throughput to generate smoother lines or more accurate point observations. Even if you use QuickCapture from a bicycle! See: Trailblazers | ArcNews | Spring 2020 
    • Metadata: When creating your QuickCapture project, you can configure it to automatically store GNSS metadata as GIS attributes. This will give you extra information to better understand the quality of the data submitted from the mobile app.
  • Can I time-stamp features as they get captured? Yes. QuickCapture projects can be configured to automatically capture the time when a button is pushed. For line and polygon data capture, you can also automatically store when the data capture starts and ends.  For more information, check the Quick reference—QuickCapture | Documentation help topic.
  • Does QuickCapture work offline? Yes. Once a project is downloaded into your device, you no longer need to be connected to capture data.  You do not need to configure your feature layers or projects in any special way to support offline workflows. That is, you do not need create an offline map, or even turn sync capabilities on in your feature layer.  Once a project is locally downloaded, QuickCapture will work even if disconnected.
  • Can QuickCapture be used to update existing GIS data? No. With ArcGIS QuickCapture you can only add new records into a feature layer. If you want to update existing GIS features from a field app, you will need to use either Survey123 or Collector.
  • Can I use Spike for offset data capture workflows ? No. Spike is a laser measurement solution by Esri Partner IkeGPS. At this moment, Spike tightly integrates with Survey123, but not with QuickCapture. For more details see Survey123: Laser Measurements with Spike - YouTube  We could bring similar integration into QuickCapture if we see interest in this.
  • How can I configure QuickCapture to work hands-free? QuickCapture works really well with Apple voice command accessibility features in iOS. To learn more check Voice Controlled Data Collection Please note that Apple's voice control is only supported in English.  At this moment, we have no support for hands-free operation in Android or Windows operating systems, or in a language other than English.
  • When will QuickCapture support webhooks? In May 5 2020 we will release version 1.5 which will introduce support for webhooks.
  • What do I need to license ArcGIS QuickCapture? To create ArcGIS QuickCapture projects you need a Creator user type. To use the QuickCapture mobile app, you need at least a Field Worker user type, or an Editor user type with a QuickCapture license
  • Do I always need an ArcGIS account to use the QuickCapture mobile app? No. If a QuickCapture project is shared publicly (shared with everyone), then anyone can use the project.  This is particularly useful for crowd-sourcing and citizen-science projects.  Please note that in order to share a QuickCapture project publicly, the project must be published to an ArcGIS Hub Premium organization. To learn more about how to share your projects publicly, check the Crowdsourcing with QuickCapture: Santa Sightings blog post.
  • Do you have any tutorials to get started? Yes.
  • Does QuickCapture work with ArcGIS Enterprise? Yes. More details here: ArcGIS QuickCapture Pricing | Buy Now 
  • If using QuickCapture to document asset conditions, how can I keep historic records? Since QuickCapture can only add new records to a feature layer, you could theoretically use QuickCapture to record asset conditions. Every time a condition is submitted, a new record is added to your feature layer.  The location of the GIS features could be used to identify your assets uniquely and navigate history back and forth by looking at the different GIS records added.  This is technically possible, but I think there are likely better approaches to this.  If you want to use a mobile app to uniquely identify an existing asset, look at its condition history and add a new inspection, I would go with Survey123 or Collector. Both applications allow you to do this in a much more effective and less error prone process.

In this post I will describe, step by step, how to launch ArcGIS QuickCapture from the Survey123 field application.  The animation below illustrates the basic concept where a user launches the Survey123 field app, and then through a link launches QuickCapture.   The link sets the target project to be opened in the QuickCapture app and optionally a value to be passed to the project user input.

 

 

There are two basic aspects to all of this: 1) Understanding the syntax for launching QuickCapture from a link and 2) Understanding how to dynamically create a link within a Survey123 survey. The good news, is that both of these things are very easy to do!

 

How to launch QuickCapture from a link

 

ArcGIS QuickCapture, like many other apps in your mobile device, can be launched from a link. The syntax for your link is straight-forward. The following shows the basics for opening a new project and passing a value to the project user input:

 

arcgis-quickcapture://?itemId=<your project item id>&projectInput:<your user input>=<the value you want to pass>

 

To construct the URL as shown above, you can follow these steps:

 

  • Login into QuickCapture designer and open your project in edit mode.
  • Now, get the itemId of your QuickCapture project from the browser address. In the screenshot below the itemId is highlighted in red.  Make sure you do not include the / slashes at the end and beginning.

 

 

  • If you want to also pass a project user input, you obviously need to configure your project user input first in QuickCapture designer. There is plenty about that in Understanding User Inputs in ArcGIS QuickCapture 
  • The name of your user input is essentially its label. Below I highlight where in designer you can get this value. Note that your user input can have spaces in the name.

 

With that, you will have your complete link to get things going. Take the link and test it from your mobile device. In fact, if simply want to do a quick test from your computer, you can trigger your link from your Windows web browser as long as you have the QuickCapture app for windows installed. Sorry if you are running a Mac.

 

To learn more about all the things you can do with QuickCapture links, have a look at: Integrate with other apps—QuickCapture | Documentation 

 

 

How to include a link within a survey

 

Now we are going to include your link within a Survey123 form, and also describe how you can manipulate the link dynamically, to include information from your responses in your survey. This section, by the way, assumes you already know how to work with Survey123 Connect and XLSForm.

 

  • Go into Survey123 Connect and open your survey. In the XLSForm, start by adding a note type of question and wrap your link within an HTML link tag. For example:

 

typenamelabel
texttrailnameEnter a value here
note <a href="arcgis-quickcapture://?itemId=1cf9606a97d0451e83a600ccb5691ef3&userInput:Trail Name=Santa Ana River Trail">QuickCapture link</a>

 

  • Give it a go to try things out.  You can even try from your computer if ArcGIS QuickCapture is installed locally.
  • Next, we are going to dynamically change the value passed in the user input by using an XLSForm variable replacement.

 

typenamelabel
texttrailnameEnter a value here
note <a href="arcgis-quickcapture://?itemId=1cf9606a97d0451e83a600ccb5691ef3&userInput:Trail Name=${trailname}">QuickCapture link</a>

 

There is not much to this. You are now good to go!

In many QuickCapture workflows maps are secondary because end users interact with the big button display almost exclusively. There are, however, some reasons why a map in your QuickCapture project can be of help before, while and after you capture data:

 

  • Review data on a map before you send it: A map can be used to help review all data captured before it is submitted.  For example, you may want to review all observations captured during the day in a map and make last minute modifications before you submit observations to ArcGIS.
  • Use the map while you capture data: A map can provide useful information at the time of data capture. A live web map in your QuickCapture project, for example, can help end users see the data colleagues around them are capturing. This can help duplication and gaps in the area covered. In a search and rescue scenario for example, a web map can show areas already searched by your colleagues. 

 

You can easily open your QuickCapture project map by tapping on the top-right corner of the data capture page.

 

 

As shown in the animation below, with QuickCapture designer you can easily configure a custom map for your project. You can select your map from the gallery of basemaps configured in your ArcGIS organization, from maps you own or maps others have shared with you.

 

QuickCapture designer. Configuring maps.

 

  • Basemaps: The first category of maps available for your project is your organization's basemaps. Every ArcGIS organization is configured with a set of basemaps. By default, this gallery includes maps with worldwide coverage from the ArcGIS Living Atlas, such as Esri Imagery, Esri Topographic, Esri Streets and OpenStreetMap. The administrator of your organization can define which basemaps are included in this category. For example, this gallery can include custom web maps and many other readily available basemaps from ArcGIS Online.
  • My Maps: This category includes maps you have created and stored under your ArcGIS account. The list of maps shown includes Web Maps, Mobile Map Packages, Vector Tile Packages, and Tile Packages.
  • Shared with me: Includes maps shared with your account. These maps are generally owned by other people within your ArcGIS organization, but if you join a group from another organization, you will also see maps hosted somewhere else. When choosing a map shared with you, you will want to make sure that the map is also shared with the users of your own QuickCapture project. If that is not the case, QuickCapture designer will give you a warning when you try to share your own project.

 

The maps shown in the My Maps and Shared with me categories can be of different types. Let's discuss briefly a few important things about them:

 

  • Web Maps: Web Maps can be easily created using the Map Viewer in ArcGIS. They typically combine a basemap with additional layers of information. For example, you can combine a base map with live weather data, your own asset information, or even with the very same layer on which your QuickCapture project is adding data.  Web Maps show live data so they are only useful when your end-users work in a connected environment.
  • Mobile, Tile and Vector Tile Packages: Mobile Map Packages, Tile Packages, and Vector Tile Packages are all good options when you want your maps to work offline. You can create these maps in ArcGIS Pro and then upload them into your ArcGIS account.
    • Vector Tile Packages: This is by far the most efficient format when configuring an offline map for your QuickCapture project although Vector Tile Packages cannot include imagery.  You can create Vector Tile Packages from your own data using ArcGIS Pro. If you want to create your own Vector Tile Package from the OpenStreetMap basemap, I really like this utility built by the Applications Prototype Lab.
    • Mobile Map Packages: This format is the most flexible, allowing you to combine vector tiles, raster and vector data all in one map. Mobile Map Packages can also include locators and network datasets but since these are unsupported in QuickCapture, you should exclude these to make your files more lightweight. The Create Mobile Map Package geoprocessing tool will help you create these files.
    • Tile Packages: Choose this format when you need to just include imagery in your map. Tile Packages grow large very quickly so you will need to be particularly careful when using them.  If you want to create a Tile Package using your own imagery, the best is to use ArcGIS Pro. If you simply want to extract a portion of an existing basemap or tile map service into a Tile Package, a typically choose the ArcGIS Tile Package Kreator utility from Esri Labs.

As of the .4 release, Mobile Map Packages including multiple maps or an expiration date that has past, are not supported.

If choosing an offline map for your project, the map will be downloaded along with the project. Users of the QuickCapture mobile app do not need to do anything special to get their offline map: If the project is downloaded, the map comes along with it.

 

While configuring your map, you will notice that it is possible to enable a side by side view of your map and data capture page in tablets.

 

 

In this mode, the map navigation modes that you can cycle through with the button located in the lower-right corner, will be very handy. These navigation modes are designed to keep the map centered at your location, so you can view your data as it is being captured.

 

One final note: When working with maps in QuickCapture, the map will only show data in your device. If your auto-send policy is set to send data regularly, you will see captured data disappear from the map. This does not mean that your data has been lost, it just means that your data has been uploaded to ArcGIS! You can relax the auto-send policy, or even turn it off, if you prefer to keep all data in the map and then send it manually once reviewed.  Alternatively, you can also configure your QuickCapture project with a web map including the feature layers on which you are adding data. In this way, when the data is sent, it will appear again in your web map.  Using this technique, you will also have full control over the symbology used to represent your data.

QuickCapture version 1.4 is now available. The mobile app has been updated across all supported platforms and web designer refreshed. This new release will help you easily configure offline and online maps in your QuickCapture projects. The mobile app now supports a side by side display of the map and the data capture buttons. Support for deployments via MDM software also gets better through support for AppConfig.  Let's have a look at all the details!

 

Configurable Maps

 

Starting with version 1.4, you can easily configure your QuickCapture projects with your own online or offline maps. In previous versions you could set your own map, but you had to use the JSON editor, which is a bit tricky. Now you can quickly set your map from within the QuickCapture designer. 

 

In most QuickCapture workflows the use of the map is secondary, but having the ability to review the data captured with a map is always handy. Maps are also useful when you want to see data being collected by other people, or when you need some context from the map before you can capture your own features.

 

As shown in the animation below, we have added a new Map dialog into the designer. You can select your map from the gallery of basemaps configured in your ArcGIS organization, from maps you own or maps others have shared with you.

 

QuickCapture designer. Configuring maps.

 

  • Basemaps: The first category of maps available for your project is your organization's basemaps. Every ArcGIS organization is configured with a set of basemaps. By default, this gallery includes maps with worldwide coverage from the ArcGIS Living Atlas, such as Esri Imagery, Esri Topographic, Esri Streets and OpenStreetMap. The administrator of your organization can define which basemaps are included in this category. For example, this gallery can include custom web maps and many other readily available basemaps from ArcGIS Online.
  • My Maps: This category includes maps you have created and stored under your ArcGIS account. The list of maps shown includes Web Maps, Mobile Map Packages, Vector Tile Packages, and Tile Packages.
  • Shared with me: Includes maps shared with your account. These maps are generally owned by other people within your ArcGIS organization, but if you join a group from another organization, you will also see maps hosted somewhere else. When choosing a map shared with you, you will want to make sure that the map is also shared with the users of your own QuickCapture project. If that is not the case, QuickCapture designer will give you a warning when you try to share your own project.

 

The maps shown in the My Maps and Shared with me categories can be of different types. Let's discuss briefly a few important things about them:

 

  • Web Maps: Web Maps can be easily created using the Map Viewer in ArcGIS. They typically combine a basemap with additional layers of information. For example, you can combine a base map with live weather data, your own asset information, or even with the very same layer on which your QuickCapture project is adding data.  Web Maps show live data from your ArcGIS organization so they are ideal when your end-users work in a connected environment.
  • Mobile, Tile and Vector Tile Packages: Mobile Map Packages, Tile Packages, and Vector Tile Packages are all good options when you want your maps to work offline. You can create these maps in ArcGIS Pro and then upload them into your ArcGIS account.
    • Vector Tile Packages: This is by far the most efficient format when configuring an offline map for your QuickCapture project although Vector Tile Packages cannot include imagery.  You can create Vector Tile Packages from your own data using ArcGIS Pro. If you want to create your own Vector Tile Package from the OpenStreetMap basemap, I really like this utility built by the Applications Prototype Lab.
    • Mobile Map Packages: This format is the most flexible, allowing you to combine vector tiles, raster and vector data all in one map. Mobile Map Packages can also include locators and network datasets but since they would be of no use within QuickCapture, you may want to keep these things away to keep the map more lightweight. The Create Mobile Map Package geoprocessing tool will help you create these files.
    • Tile Packages: Choose this format when you need to just include imagery in your map. Tile Packages grow large very quickly so you will need to be particularly careful when using them.  If you want to create a Tile Package using your own imagery, the best is to use ArcGIS Pro. If you simply want to extract a portion of an existing basemap or tile map service into a Tile Package, a typically choose the ArcGIS Tile Package Kreator utility from Esri Labs.

As of this release, Mobile Map Packages including multiple maps or an expiration date that has past, are not supported.

If choosing an offline map for your project, the map will be downloaded along with the project. Users of the QuickCapture mobile app do not need to do anything special to get their offline map: If the project is downloaded, the map comes along with it.

 

Buttons and Maps: Side by side

 

Some of you have requested to be able to display the map side by side with the (big button) data capture page. As of this release, you can enable this new feature in your QuickCapture projects. The side by side view setting only takes effect when the project is used from a tablet.

 

By using an appropriate map with the side by side view, you can greatly enhance the data capture experience. Adding the layers of your QuickCapture project into a web map will allow users of the mobile app to see data captured from different members of the team instantly. The map can also show what areas have already been worked on. With that information, you can avoid duplicated field observations and ensure that all work area is covered without gaps.

 

QuickCapture mobile app. Side by side view.

 

The side by side view is also extremely useful when a map provides additional context to the user to facilitate data capture.  For example, to streamline quick asset inspections you can add your asset information into the map and help end-users navigate to relevant areas.

 

 

Save as

 

This is a small, yet quite handy enhancement in the QuicCapture designer. A new save as option will let you create copies of your projects, in case you want to replicate work, test changes in your project without affecting your production project or simply create a backup.

 

QuickCapture designer. Save as

 

Other enhancements

 

Many minor enhancements, adjustments and fixes have been applied to the mobile app and the web designer. Here are a few highlights:

 

  • Reduced mobile app size on iOS: The mobile app download from the Apple app store has been reduced from 74Mb to 48Mb.
  • Faster data uploads for breadcrumbs: We have optimized the performance of data uploads. This is particularly noticeable when working with large sets of breadcrumbs.
  • AppConfig support: Starting with version 1.4 you can now auto-configure the URL of your ArcGIS Enterprise portal using an AppConfig file. 

 

Next steps

 

We are now working on our next update, which we plan to release before July 2020. As usual, we will update the app across all supported platforms (iOS, Android and Windows) and we will update the designer at the same time as well.  We will make available Beta builds of the software through the Early Adopter Community website in late March or early April.

In this article you will find a few quick facts describing how ArcGIS QuickCapture and ArcGIS Enterprise work together.

 

You need a portal (Portal for ArcGIS): For ArcGIS QuickCapture to work with ArcGIS Enterprise, you need to configure the Portal for ArcGIS component.   ArcGIS QuickCapture projects are modeled as portal items, so you need a portal to store them.  Resources referenced in your QuickCapture project such as web maps, mobile map packages or feature layers are also referenced through portal items.

 

Versions of Portal for ArcGIS supported:  ArcGIS QuickCapture is officially supported only with versions 10.7.1 or newer of Portal for ArcGIS. You can technically make ArcGIS QuickCapture work against versions 10.6 and 10.7 of Portal for ArcGIS, but Esri will not officially support this configuration.  More details in the Working with non supported versions of Portal for ArcGIS section below.

 

Connecting QuickCapture designer to your portal: We host the ArcGIS QuickCapture designer web application in ArcGIS Online at https://quickcapture.arcgis.com You can make this web application work against your own ArcGIS portal as follows:

 

  1. Open a web browser and navigate to https://quickcapture.arcgis.com
  2. Click on Sign in with ArcGIS Enterprise
  3. Enter the URL of your portal and connect

 

To simplify access to the QuickCapture designer from your portal you can add  https://quickcapture.arcgis.com into your own portal app launcher as described in the Manage apps in the app launcher—Portal for ArcGIS (10.7 and 10.7.1) | ArcGIS Enterprise help topic.

 

Starting with ArcGIS Enterprise 10.8 a local copy of QuickCapture designer is included with the Enterprise setup.  You can access your local version of QuickCapture designer from the app launcher.  Given that we update the designer in ArcGIS Online pretty often, you may want to replace the URL of your 10.8 local QuickCapture designer shortcut in the app launcher with https://quickcapture.arcgis.com so you always get the latest and greatest.

 

Feature services (Federation required, avoid geodatabase versioning): ArcGIS QuickCapture can target feature services of all types. That is, you can target hosted feature services as well as feature services hosted in ArcGIS Server hitting a multi-user geodatabase.  If using ArcGIS Server feature services, you need to make sure that:

 

  1. Your ArcGIS Server site is federated with your portal. See Federate an ArcGIS Server site with your portal—Portal for ArcGIS (10.7 and 10.7.1) | ArcGIS Enterprise for details.
  2. Your feature service does not contain feature classes from a versioned geodatabase workspace.
  3. Global IDs must exist in a feature layer before enabling attachments. You must use a globalid-based relationship for your attachments.

 

You can mix old versions of ArcGIS Server with your portal. For example, you can create a QuickCapture project on top of an ArcGIS Server 10.6 feature service and host your QuickCapture project in a 10.7.1 portal. As long as you can federate your ArcGIS Server site with your portal, you will be fine.

 

Make people's live easier by using links and QR codes: From the user of the ArcGIS QuickCapture mobile app, the most error prone aspect of working with ArcGIS Enterprise is having to type he portal URL to login. You can save many headaches by simply using project links and QR codes.  When authoring your QuickCapture project in QuickCapture designer, make sure you get the link and/or QR code of your project.   When those are used, there is no need for people to type the URL of your portal, because the URL is embedded in the link. 

 

For example, you can add the QR code of your QuickCapture project in an Enterprise Site, a StoryMap or a sharepoint page. You can also include the link with an e-mail or even through a text message. Getting field workers up to speed with QuickCapture on top of ArcGIS Enterprise should be a matter of two clicks!

 

Deploying ArcGIS QuickCapture with a Mobile Device Management solution: You can deploy and manage ArcGIS QuickCapture through the most popular MDM solutions (VMWare AirWatch, Citrix XenMobile, Microsoft's InTune, etc). Starting with version 1.4 of QuickCapture, you can also use AppConfig to set the default portal URL.

 

Working with non-supported versions of Portal for ArcGIS:  If you want to work with 10.6 and 10.7 portals you need to perform manual registration of QuickCapture in your portal. This is a manual and error-prone process and it needs manually be undone if you ever upgrade your portal to a newer version. Step by step instructions are provided in this unofficial guide. You can follow these instructions at your own risk. It is strongly recommended that you avoid working with versions of portal older than 10.7.1.  If you really have to do it and run into a problem, all you have for help is that from your QuickCapture colleagues in GeoNet. Do no attempt to follow manual registration instructions with versions older than 10.6: it will not work.

To get you in the Christmas mood, we have created a public Santa Sighting QuickCapture project. This allows anyone (or everyone) to report sightings of Santa as he does his Christmas rounds - no user account or sign-in required. It looks like Santa has been making an early start this year! 

 

In this blog, I'll share the steps used in creating the Santa Sighting project. Of course, you can change the project content in order to support your own crowdsourcing, citizen science, and community engagement needs. For example, you may want your users to submit public order incidents at a public event, report litter or illegal dumping, or record sightings of rare bird species. If so, you will just need to modify the project and layers to meet your needs.

 

If you are already familiar with setting up projects and just want to find out how to share a project publically, you can go straight to the SHARE YOUR PROJECT section below.

 

Let's get started.....

 

CREATE YOUR LAYERS

 

As you hopefully know, the foundation of every QuickCapture project is one or more feature layers. And the more effort you put into getting the layers right, the less work you need to do in the designer. For this project, we will create a new layer using the ArcGIS Online Points, lines and polygons template.

 

To create the template, sign into your organizational portal (with a Creator user type) and navigate through: Content=>Create=>Feature Layer. This will open the Create a feature layer dialog. From here you can choose Points, lines and polygons under Build a layer.

 

 

Click CREATE and configure the layer properties as you wish (i.e. Map extent, Title, Tags, Summary) and then click Done.

 

Next, you will need to create the fields you want to update when a new record is captured. This is done in the Data tab - click the Fields button.

 

Add the following fields to the Point layer:

  • sighting (string)
  • accuracy (double)
  • capture_time (date)
  • status (string)
  • name (string)

 

Additionally, for the sighting field, create a list with the following options:

  • santa
  • tree
  • lights

 

     

 

The next step is to symbolize. To do this, add the layer to a web map, and update the styling for the Sightings - point layer.

                         

 

Make sure you select the sighting field as the Choose an attribute to show option, and choose the Types (Unique symbols) as the default drawing style

                                                   

 

This will create some default symbology for the points, but you can improve this by using your own custom symbols:

                                                                   

 

When finished, make sure you save the layer

The sighting - line layer will be used as a tracking layer to show where the project user has been. If you want to capture any information in its fields, then optionally add the fields you want to the layer and configure the symbology the way you want. 

 

CREATE YOUR PROJECT

 

Once you have created your layers, you are ready to create your project. Sign into the QuickCapure web designer and create a new NEW PROJECT from the Sightings layer.

 

 

When the new project loads, you will see that a new button has been created for each type in the point layer, and a single (default) button for the line and polygon layers.

 

                                             

Next is the fun part. In the appearance tab, change the layout and styling of the project and buttons, the number of columns in a group, and delete the groups that you don’t need.

 

 

For each button, go to the DATA tab and configure the information that will be captured when a button is pressed. For the point capturing buttons (Santa, tree and lights) update the capture fields as follows:

 

  • sighting: Leave this alone, the designer has automatically applied the type based on the symbology of the layer
  • accuracy: Apply the horizontal accuracy (m) device variable
  • capture_time: Apply the Capture time (UTC) device variable
  • status: Enter a typed-in value of submitted (you can use this to review submitted records)

 

For the name field, create a project user input, that prompts the user to enter their elf name, so that it can be captured in the submitted record. This should be configured as follows:

 

  • Label: Elf Name
  • Text field type: Single line text
  • Hint: Enter your Elf name

 

                                   

 

Once configured, the user Input will be available as a variable to apply to the name field. In the Data tab, apply the variable to each of the point buttons.

 

                                       

 

Optionally, update the capture fields for the line (trail) buttons button and you are done.

 

SHARE YOUR PROJECT

 

Once your project has been created and saved, the next step is to share it. As long as your organization is licensed for ArcGIS Hub Premium, you will be able to share the project publicly. With your project open in the designer, select SHARE and then tick the Everyone option under the Who can use this project?

 

 

If this action throws an error like the following, don’t worry:

 

 

To fix, click on the link to launch the layer item and update its sharing to be Everyone (Public) - this is to make sure that the project and layers have the same sharing. Once this is done, reshare the project.

 

Once the project is shared with Everyone, you will have 3 options for sharing it to your users. These are Link, Access code and QR code. All options can be shared via email, copied into a document or embedded into a web page or application, but each provides a slightly different user experience. 

 

 

Let's look at each option:

 

       This is a URL that can be copy-pasted for sharing. The user will either need to paste the URL into a web browser or click/open the link. This will launch the mobile app and download the project.

 

                               

 

  • Access code (Anonymous users only) - Example: 1iTOuC

       This is a unique (case sensitive) code that can be copy-pasted for sharing. The user must open the mobile app without signing in, select the ENTER ACCESS CODE option, and then enter the code to initiate the project download.

 

                                 

 

  • QR Code Example: 

   This is a QR code that can be copy-pasted or saved as a file for sharing. The user would need to scan the QR code using the device's camera (iOS), a dedicated barcode reader app (Android), or the barcode reader built into the QuickCapture mobile app (if it has already been installed).

 

                                     

 

 

Some notes on the dsitribution options:

 

- In order to download the project, the user will need to have the mobile app installed on their device. To aid users that have not installed the app, both the Link and QR Code open a landing page that contains a download link for the app.

 

- If the app is already installed, the landing page will display a dialog that prompts the user to allow the app to launch and download the project. The user must select the open option.

 

- As the access code does not open the landing page, the user will need to have already installed the app in order to enter the code.

 

- The access code is case sentive and only available for projects that have been shared with everyone.

 

- If the user is not signed into the app, the public project will be downloaded to a public workspace. If the user is signed in, the project will be saved to the workspace of the signed-in user. 

 

The different options: Link, Access code and QR Code, provide flexibility in the way in which projects can be distributed. Authors will need to consider the medium to be used (e.g. poster or email), the devices/platforms that are being targetted, whether the user will need to install the app, and the user's technical skills - when making a selection. 

 

For our Santa sightings project we embedded the QR code in a story map and included the full steps required to download it. Try it out and view the results here: ArcGIS StoryMaps 

 

Happy Christmas from the QuickCapture team!

We are excited to announce the release of ArcGIS QuickCapture 1.3. The mobile app has been updated across all supported platforms. QuickCapture designer has also been refreshed.

 

 Here are the highlights.

 

 

ArcGIS QuickCapture Public Projects

 

Starting with this release, ArcGIS Hub Premium customers can share QuickCapture projects publicly. This is useful for crowd-sourcing, citizen science or community engagement initiatives.  Public QuickCapture projects can be downloaded into the mobile app without the need to login with an ArcGIS account: People download the QuickCapture app from the app store for free, and use your QuickCapture projects for free as well.   All what end-users need to download your projects is a QR code or Access code that you will be providing to them.

 

The way this works is simple: If your ArcGIS Online organization is licensed with ArcGIS Hub Premium, you will have a new option in the QuickCapture designer, within the Sharing dialog, to share your project with Everyone.

 

 

When you share your project with Everyone, your project is public.  All you need to do for people to access your project is to share with them a link, access code or QR code. The sharing dialog will create these links and access codes for you automatically as shown in the animation below.

 

 

Just for fun, and to show you how a QuickCapture public project could be shared with the general public, we put together a Santa Sighting initiative. Did you see Santa in your neighborhood? Get QuickCapture out of your pocket, snap a photo and report!  We used a StoryMap to present the idea, allowing people to download the project and look at the results. Check it out!  Exercising the Santa sample will illustrate the experience for downloading the projects into your device.

 

Open the Santa Sightings StoryMap

 

 

 

Enhancements to the QuickCapture designer

 

With this update, we have added many new features into QuickCapture designer so you can create your projects more easily.

 

  • User Inputs: User Inputs allow you prompt dialogs within the QuickCapture app so end-users can enter additional information during data capture. For example, you can use User Inputs to launch a 'Enter comments' dialog when a button is pushed. You can alternatively configure a User Input to display a 'Select Priority' dialog to classify a new incident captured as High, Medium or Low priority.

 

You can now easily configure User Inputs from the QuickCapture designer. For more details, check our Understanding User Inputs in ArcGIS QuickCapture bog post and our Configure a project—QuickCapture | Documentation help topic.

 

  • Continuous mode for point features: Up until this release, point features could be captured from QuickCapture one by one. That is, you would push the button, and the app would capture one point at that location.  Some of you requested that we also allow you to treat point features in continuous mode. When working in continuous mode, pushing the point button activates data capture for that feature as a stream. As you move, new points are captured.    This is useful if you want to capture all location metadata (horizontal accuracy, speed, altitude...) as well as other device variables (time of capture, etc) along a route.

 

  • Optional photos: You can now configure optional photos with your buttons.

 

 

Miscellaneous fixes and enhancements

 

There are many other enhancements and fixes in the designer and the mobile app. The full list can be found in our What's New help topic. In general, you will find many refinements in both the designer and the mobile app that make them much more robust.  For example, the mobile app can more reliably work in poor-connectivity scenarios. Designer is also better at catching some logical errors in your designs. For example, designer will no longer let you publish a project where you leave required fields unpopulated.

 

Next steps

 

We are already working on version 1.4 and we will try to make it available in the Early Adopter Program in early 2020.  Here are our driver tasks for 1.4:

 

  • Designer enhancements:
    • Configure online and offline maps in your QuickCapture project.
    • Save as: A new option in the QuickCapture gallery to let you quickly make a copy of an existing project.
    • Drafts: An enhanced publishing workflow so you can make and test out edits in a project without affecting your end-users.
  • Mobile app:
    • Split-screen: This feature is for tablet form factors only. Show the buttons and map all in one screen!
    • Biometric authentication: To make your life easier when you login into the app.

 

Other projects we have in our backlog include:

  • Add support for webhooks
  • Add support for AppConfig to configure a custom ArcGIS Enterprise url
  • Hands-free QuickCapture: Operate QuickCapture with your voice.

What a day today! Danielle Hopkins and I delivered our Get Started with ArcGIS QuickCapture Live Training Seminar three times. Below is a compilation of the most common questions we got and a link to the recording as well.

 

 

  Listen to the recording here
(You will need to login with your Esri account to see the Watch option)

 

 

What are the most common use cases for QuickCapture? We originally productized ArcGIS QuickCapture with field data capture workflows for the transportation industry in mind. Think night retroreflectivity inspections, road hazard monitoring, road-kill surveys, at-speed road asset inventories, snow-plow monitoring, etc.  Since we launch in July 2019, however, we have seen the use of QuickCapture expand into many, many other use cases: wildlife aerial surveys, right of way patrols, documentation of code violations, weed abatement programs, trail mapping, street-light patrols, quick sign inventories, utility locator, quick damage assessments, sidewalk and pavement condition surveys, etc.

 

We have documented a handful of use cases recently:

 

 

Can ArcGIS QuickCapture work while disconnected from the network? Yes!. This was by far the most common question throughout the Live Training Seminar. In short: Once a QuickCapture project has been downloaded into your device, you can use it while offline. All captured data will remain in your device and once you get back online again, it will be sent to ArcGIS. There is nothing special you need to do to get this going, other than simply downloading your project into your device.

 

What mobile platforms are supported? Android, iOS and Windows. You can download the mobile app from the corresponding app stores or from our download page. Details about the operating system versions supported can be found at Requirements—QuickCapture | Documentation 

 

For ArcGIS QuickCapture to work, your must configure your device to allow QuickCapture to access your location.

 

Does ArcGIS QuickCapture work with an ArcGIS Enterprise portal?  Yes, as long as the version of your portal is 10.7.1 or newer. Your data can configure it against a multi-user enterprise geodatabase or the ArcGIS Data Store.

 

If you have an older version of ArcGIS Server, or do not have a portal installed, you can register your ArcGIS Server feature services as items in ArcGIS Online and have your QuickCapture projects work against them. In this hybrid approach, your data lives in ArcGIS Server, but end users will be authenticated against your ArcGIS Online organization.

 

Does QuickCapture work with external GNSS receivers? Yes. You can choose to connect your QuickCapture app to an external GNSS receiver to improve the location accuracy of your data and associate location quality GNSS metadata with your records. The list of supported GNSS receivers is available at Use a high-accuracy receiver—QuickCapture | Documentation If the particular receiver you want to use is not supported yet, feel free to propose support for it throughArcGIS Ideas.

 

What type of ArcGIS account I need to use ArcGIS QuickCapture? It depends. If you want to create new QuickCapture projects, you will need a Creator (or GIS Professional) user type with privileges to create new content. If you simply want to use the mobile app to collect data, you will need a Field Worker (or Creator, or GIS Professional) user type with privileges to add records into feature layers. Alternatively, the mobile app can also be used with an Editor user type, as long as you buy an add-on license for the QuickCapture mobile app.

 

Please note that Free ArcGIS Public Accounts are not supported with ArcGIS QuickCapture.

 

I want to use ArcGIS QuickCapture for a crowd-sourcing project. Is that possible? At this moment in time, end users of the mobile app need an ArcGIS account. Using the ArcGIS Hub | Community Engagement Software you can get ArcGIS accounts for everyone of your volunteers.

 

In a future release, we have plans to allow ArcGIS Hub Premium customers to share QuickCapture projects publicly. This will open up the use of the QuickCapture mobile app, even to users without an ArcGIS account.

 

Can I bring up a window after a button is pushed so the end user can add some extra information? Yes. This is done through User Input windows, which you can configure to capture free text, numeric values or a selection from a list. To learn more about configuring User Inputs, check our Understanding User Inputs in ArcGIS QuickCapture blog post.

 

Can I capture a point observation while a line button is active? Yes. You can in fact capture multiple lines at the same time and while they are active, you can capture additional points.  This is known as nested field data capture. Say for example you want to map the condition of pedestrian trails within a park as well as park furniture. You can activate the Trail in Good Condition button to capture a line as you walk, and capture benches and other park furniture as you go.

 

Is it possible for an end-user to create new buttons on the fly? No. Only the author of the QuickCapture project can create and organize data capture buttons. If you want to accommodate your project to the possibility of new feature category types, I would consider adding a new button for a generic 'Other' category. You can use a User Input to let end users type some free text to describe the new category. You can later look at entries in the category 'Other' and decide if more buttons should be added to the project.

 

Can multiple feature layers be added to a QuickCapture project? Yes. You can combine layers of different geometry types for example. You can also have a mix of layers coming from ArcGIS Online and Enterprise if you like. You can also build multiple QuickCapture projects on top of a single feature layer, and even build Survey123 and Collector projects against the same layers you are using with QuickCapture.

 

I am a University professor and want to cover field data collection tools. Should I teach QuickCapture, Survey123 or Collector? I would say that an important lesson for your students is to learn that not one single tool is going to serve all possible field data collection workflows. The three apps you mention are all about capturing georeferenced data in the field: they all let you capture points, lines and polygons; they all can be combined with external GNSS receivers, they all let you capture photos, etc. Now, the way they let you capture data is radically different. Choosing the right user experience to meet the way field users work is critical for success.

 

  • QuickCapture is ideal for rapid and at-speed data collection workflows. It delivers a minimalist user experience where end users can capture observations with minimum distraction and with minimum training. Think aerial patrols, quick reporting of issues and violations, at-speed road asset inventories, etc.
  • Survey123 delivers a form-centric approach to data capture. This is for use cases where you need people to spend a bit more time completing a form to capture multiple aspects of something. Think routine asset inspections, formal damage assessments, documenting code violations, etc.  If people are used to do their work completing a paper form... chances are you in front of a candidate for Survey123.
  • Collector is great when you want the data capture experience driven from a map. This is the way to go when working with multiple GIS layers is needed to provide context to your own editing workflows, or where you want to map assets across multiple layers of a map.

 

In practice, you will find some workflows where any of the options above could do the job. There are other use cases where one app will be the a best fit.  Choosing wisely between the different options often comes after full understanding of the pros and cons of each in relation to your specific workflow. Your seasoned students will be able to make the right call with experience.  Finally, in some cases it makes sense to combine apps as well.

 

Can I use QuickCapture to update existing features? No. With QuickCapture you can only submit new records. Survey123 and Collector would be a better fit.

 

How can I visualize all data captured from QuickCapture in a map? Simply bring your QuickCapture feature layers into a web map. You can optionally set a refresh rate on your web map layers so new data will appear automatically as it gets submitted to ArcGIS. Even better, once you have your web map ready, bring it over into an Operations Dashboard or Web AppBuilder web application to deliver the best experience.

 

The animation below shows how you can bring your QuickCapture feature layers into a web map to get started.

 

 

Can ArcGIS QuickCapture be customized as a white labeled product? Absolutely. The source code of the ArcGIS QuickCapture mobile app is available to AppStudio for ArcGIS developers. You can build your own version of the mobile app, change it look and feel and functionality, and upload it to the store under your own branding.

ArcGIS QuickCapture 1.2 is now available across all supported platforms. QuickCapture designer has also been refreshed. This new release brings a good number of productivity enhancements in the mobile app and more power and flexibility for QuickCapture designers. Here are some highlights:

 

 

 

 

User Inputs:  With this release, you can configure QuickCapture buttons to automatically show a user input dialog when a new feature is captured.

 

Say for example you want to document a hazard. You can tap on the appropriate hazard type button, then pop the user input dialog for field workers to optionally include a note. 

 

The user input dialog accepts inputs of different types: free text, a selection from a list, a number within a predefined range, etc.  You can also configure user inputs to be compulsory or optional.

 

User inputs are not a new concept, as they already existed in version 1.0, but the ability to launch them after a button is pushed is new, and powerful!

 

Check our Understanding User Inputs in ArcGIS QuickCapture for details on this feature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kick-start QuickCapture from a link or QR code: Starting with this release, you can kick-start the QuickCapture mobile app from a simple link or QR code.  This is helpful to on-board your field users more quickly into the use of the application, avoiding manual and error-prone steps to download projects or configure ArcGIS Enterprise portal URLs. 

 

For example, say you want to equip a remote team of 20 people with an ArcGIS QuickCapture project for a road pavement condition survey. You can now send an e-mail to them with instructions to download the mobile app from the app store, and provide a link to quickly download a project to their device.  All with a single click on a link!

 

If you were to support an emergency response exercise, a printed battlecard like the one shown in the animation would help first responders get their mobile devices ready.  Once the app is installed, all they need to do is to scan the barcode and the app will automatically download the project.

 

You can create QuickCapture project QR codes and links right from within QuickCapture  designer.  Just go into the new Share dialog and you will find how.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Immediately send data: A new app setting has been added to submit data immediately after capture. This is useful when you want to monitor field activity in real time.

 

Say for example snow-plow trucks in your city are equipped with QuickCapture so traffic obstacles or other incidences can be reported. You can leverage this new feature  to ensure observations are sent as soon as possible and shown in a real time dashboard.  

 

The autosend policy can be controlled through the mobile app and apply to all projects in the device: A new 'Immediately' interval option has been added.

 

When this new feature is enabled, data will be sent immediately after a feature has been captured. When working with line and polygon features, the data is only sent once the feature is complete. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

QuickCapture designer enhancements: We have added a number of new features into QuickCapture designer to give you more flexibility to create your own projects. 

 

In the project settings dialog, we have added three new categories: Layers, Project Details and Exclusive Groups.

 

 

  • Layers:  Add layers to your project at any time. Optionally set a default layer, so any new button added uses it right away. You can also define default field to device-variable mappings!
  • Project Details: Update the project tile, thumbnail, summary and description: No need to do this in ArcGIS.com or portal anymore: you can do it right from within the QuickCapture designer.
  • Exclusive Groups: An old friend from version 1.0 that you can now configure from within designer. If you have a set of line (or polygon) buttons on which you want to define a exclusivity rule: Give it a name, select the buttons in the group, and you are set. To learn more about exclusive groups check out Understanding Exclusivity Groups in ArcGIS QuickCapture .

 

In the project design view, a toolbar at the top lets you easily create buttons and groups. Select, drag and drop into the design view.  You can also now easily manage which layer your new button will be targeting.

 

 

When you save your project you can now bring your design into a mobile device through a handy QR code. Save, scan and test.

 

 

 

The sharing dialog also includes a link and QR code in case you want to help users kick-start the project from them.

 

Last but not least, you can now access QuickCapture designer right from the App Launcher and use it in any of the supported ArcGIS languages!

 

There are a number of other features in this release that you can access through the JSON Editor in QuickCapture designer. For example, you can make your photos optional and define a horizontalAccuracyError and horizontalAccuracyWarning thresholds within your project.

 

We hope these new features will be useful to you. For a more complete list of features included in this release, check the What's new in QuickCapture—QuickCapture | Documentation help topic.

 

Known issues: 

 

  • If you see your photo icons dissapearing from your existing ArcGIS QuickCature projects, or your point buttons start flashing (as if you were capturing a line), then your button has accidentally turned into 'breadcrumb' mode. Do not panic, you can fix this:  Go into the JSON Editor, and look for the point buttons (templates) that are showing this behavior to switch the continuous property in the template's captureInfo from 'true' to 'false'. You do not need to do this for all buttons... only for those that are misbehaving!

},
  "captureInfo": {
  "continuous": false,
  "exclusivityGroup": null,
  "dataSourceId": "8b0402f1-3790-4271-a5ed-40368850ee73",
  "type": "esriGeometryPoint"
},
  "displayInfo": {
  "label": "My button misbehaving",

The above should only happen to you if in your existing project you switched a button's data source from line to point, and this would only have been possible if you were Beta testing through the Early Adopter Program...

 

Next steps: We are planning another update before end of 2019. Our ArcGIS QuickCapture Early Adopter Program shows everything planned for this upcoming release and we will start making Beta builds before the end of October.

Capturing data with ArcGIS QuickCapture boils down to pushing a big fat button. If configured appropriately with device variables, you can also have additional attributes in your GIS feature be added automatically: direction and speed of travel, time-of-capture, horizontal accuracy and many others. That is the basic idea and the most common pattern of use for the app: push a QuickCapture button and the app does the rest.

 

User inputs are an advanced capability that lets field workers manually enter extra information for captured observations, without losing the fluent big button user experience of QuickCapture.

 

QuickCapture supports two different types of user inputs:

 

  • Button User Input: The user input dialog is shown immediately after a button is pushed.  A typical example for a button user input is that where you want to use the dialog for the user to add some extra comments or observations on the feature just captured.
  • Project User Input: The user input dialog is shown when the project is opened, and the value entered is used to attribute subsequently captured features.

 

User inputs can be easily authored from the QuickCapture designer.

 

 

 

Configuring Project User Inputs

 

A Project User Input dialog is shown when the QuickCapture project opens. It lets end users enter a value which will be used when data is captured from the app. Project user input dialogs can also be optionally re-opened by the end user at any time while capturing data. The whole point about project user inputs, as opposed to button user inputs, is that the user enters a value upfront, and then than value is used when data is captured. 

 

Configuring a Project User Input is a two-step project:

 

  • Create a project user input dialog: While in the designer, open the settings pane and scroll down to open the Project User Input category.  Give it a label and other basic properties.

 

 

  • Associate your project user input with one or more buttons in your project. You can apply the user input value to fields of type text.

 

 

When testing your User Input from the QuickCapture mobile app, you will notice that if you make your user input required, then you will not be able to start data capture unless you enter a value in the user input.  Once you are capturing data, you can change the user input value at any moment.

 

Project User Inputs configured using QuickCapture designer always apply to fields of type text.

Configuring Button User Inputs

 

A Button User Input dialog always immediately opens after a feature has been captured.  You can define a maximum of one Button User Input per button.

 

To configure a Button User Input you need to first select the field on which you want to store the value, and then define the label and other basic properties for your dialog. 

 

In the following animation, we select a single button in the project and configure it with a button user input so the end user can enter some comments. The value of the user input is persisted in the Notes attribute.

 

Button User Inputs will always honor the characteristics of the target field. For example, if you configure your Button User Input on top of a field of type text, the User Input will let you enter free text. If your field as a geodatabase domain defined, then your User Input will automatically display a list of values, etc.

 

Once a button user input dialog is defined, you can apply it to one or more buttons. Just be aware that you will need to associate your button user input one at a time. That is, you cannot select multiple buttons and then apply a button user input all at once. Additionally, you can only define one single button user input per button.

This article is for ArcGIS QuickCapture project authors. It describes the concept of exclusivity groups within QuickCapture and how to build them.

 

Only one button within a QuickCapture exclusivity group can be active at any time. That's the gist of it. 

 

Say for example you want to create a QuickCapture project to document pavement conditions. The condition will be either good, fair or poor but it cannot be both good and poor at the same time. That's where an exclusivity group will come handy because you will not want field users having to make sure that they are not capturing two conditions at the same time; you want the app to make it easier for them.

 

Exclusivity groups can only be applied to buttons that work in continuous mode. Buttons that target line or polygon layers will always work in continuous mode: You push the button once to activate it and it will continuously record your path until it is stopped.  If your button targets a point layer, by default it will not run in continuous mode. For this reason, exclusivity groups typically do not include point buttons. However, if you configure point buttons to run in continuous mode they will become good candidates for a QuickCapture exclusivity group.

 

You can easily define one or more exclusivity groups within QuickCapture designer. Open the Settings page for your project and select the Exclusivity Group section. As long as you have buttons in continuous mode in your project, you will be able create the exclusivity group as shown in the animation below.

 

 

Exclusivity groups are completely independent from visual groups. You can add buttons from multiple visual groups into a single exclusivity group. In the next animation for example, we show a project with two visual groups: one for paved trails and one for non-paved trails. A single exclusivity group is built on top of all buttons across these to visual groups.

 

 

The ArcGIS QuickCapture mobile app will guarantee that only one button within a exclusivity group is active at one given point in time.  If good pavement condition is active, and the user pushes the fair pavement condition next, the good pavement condition button will automatically be disabled.

Today you will find a new ArcGIS QuickCapture update in the Apple and  Google Play stores. We also have refreshed it's Windows flavor, as well as QuickCapture designer.  This is version 1.1, and here are some highlights:

 

If you are not familiar with ArcGIS QuickCapture, check our version 1.0 release announcement.

 

QuickCapture in over 30 languages

 

The next time you open the QuickCapture mobile app, it will welcome you in your own language.  It is now available in over 30 languages, including 'right to left' languages like Arabic and Hebrew. 

 

Text to speech functionality also works in most languages, although it will automatically be disabled if the operating system in your device does not support text to speech in the active language.

 

QR Code to scan an Enterprise URL

 

If you plan to deploy ArcGIS QuickCapture against your own instance of ArcGIS Enterprise, this will make a difference: When setting up a connection to ArcGIS Enterprise, you no longer need to manually type the URL: A handy barcode scanner has been added to streamline this workflow.

 

To take advantage of this feature, you will need to create first a QR barcode representing the URL of your ArcGIS Enterprise portal. Here is what an ArcGIS Enterprise URL looks like:

 

https://myportal.acme.com/webadaptorname

 

Note that I left the /home out of it. Keep /home for your browser. You do not need to include that for QuickCapture:

 

https://myportal.acme.com/webadaptorname   (Correct)

https://myportal.acme.com/webadaptorname/home (Incorrect)

 

There are many utilities out there to help you create a QR code from your ArcGIS Enterprise URL. I like QR Code Generator, but there are many others.

 

Once you have the QR code, you can include it in an e-mail with step by step instructions, print it on paper, etc.

 

Stop all active buttons with a single tap

 

With this update, you no longer need to manually stop -one by one- all active buttons before you can close your project in the mobile app. A new confirmation dialog will let you end all active captures with a single tap. A time saver for field users.

 

Enhanced QuickCapture designer.

 

With QuickCapture designer, right from a web browser, you can create your own projects for the QuickCapture mobile app. Here is what is new in this update:

 

  • You can now add your own button groups and new buttons and set the specific data source in your project on which features will be created. You can also duplicate existing buttons to speed up your design.
  • The drag & drop experience within QuickCapture designer has been greatly enhanced
  • If you change the size of color of Group labels with the JSON editor, the Designer's preview will honor it.
  • New form factor previews have been added.

 

The next update to ArcGIS QuickCapture is planned to be made available in September. Beta builds available through the ArcGIS QuickCapture Early Adopter Program.

The ArcGIS QuickCapture mobile app features a handy data recovery workflow that will help you get data from devices easily. Whenever data fails to upload to ArcGIS, the app will bring a dialog so the end user can e-mail that data to the owner of the ArcGIS QuickCapture project. All data is encapsulated in a qcr (QuickCapture recovery) file, which gets attached to the e-mail. You can open qcr files within ArcGIS Pro, or manually, to inspect its contents and learn the reasons for the failure.

 

QuickCapture data recovery files: The Basics


ArcGIS QuickCapture data recovery files are created by the ArcGIS QuickCapture

mobile app when records repeatedly fail to upload to ArcGIS. This could be caused for different reasons. For example, when the target feature layer no longer exists, or can no longer be edited by the logged-in user, when the schema of the data captured does not match the schema in the feature layer or when a geometry is not well-formed.

 

When records fail to upload, the end user of the ArcGIS QuickCapture mobile app is presented a dialog that can be used to send all these records via e-mail. The e-mail message will include an ArcGIS QuickCapture data recovery file attached, which then can be open and inspected.

 

The email recipient for the ArcGIS QuickCapture data recovery files is set by the QuickCapture project itself. By default, it is the e-mail associated with the ArcGIS account used to originally create the QuickCapture project, but it can be changed by the owner of the project.

 

Opening ArcGIS QuickCapture data recovery files from ArcGIS Pro

 

You can open qcr files directly with ArcGIS Pro 2.4 (or newer)  using a custom ArcGIS Pro add-in. To install the add-in follow these steps:

 

You need ArcGIS Pro 2.4 for the ArcGIS QuickCapture add-in to work.

 

  1. Close ArcGIS Pro.
  2. Download the add-in files from: https://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=d4ae594515d848baa5c567087ea42b8e
  3. The file above is a ZIP file. Extract the contents of the file in your computer.
  4. Double click the two files (the order does not really matter).
  5. Open ArcGIS Pro.

 

Once the ArcGIS QuickCapture add-in is installed you can preview data recovery files as follows:

 

  • Copy the qcr file in your computer.
  • Open ArcGIS Pro and add a new Folder Connection to the directory where you stored the qcr file.

 

  • You will see your qcr file in the catalog. Expand its contents. The file will contain one table for every layer where records failed to upload. Add one or more tables to the map as shown in the screenshot below.

  • The records will be shown in your map. You can inspect all records through the table and popups.

  • The ErrorMessage field contains information about the reason why the record failed to upload.
  • You can use Append and any other geoprocessing tool to massage these records and add them to your desired destination.

 

This ArcGIS Pro add-in is provided as-is for your convenience to explore qcr files, but it is not supported by Esri Technical Support.  You can post any issues you find with this add-in here in this GeoNet place.

 

Opening ArcGIS QuickCapture data recovery files manually

 

You can also inspect the data recovery files manually, without ArcGIS Pro. ArcGIS QuickCapture data recovery files are zip files.  If you change the extension from qcr to zip, you will be able to extract their contents and inspect them more closely.

 

When the contents of a qcr file are extracted you will find the following:

 

  • Errors.sqlite  This is a SQLite database containing all records (except the attachments) and error messages.
  • LayerInfos   This directory contains the JSON definition of the layers on which records failed to upload.
  • Attachments  This directory is only present if your data contains attachments. You will find photos in this folder.

 

The Errors.sqllte database can be opened by any tool that can handle SQLite databases. I like to use DB Browser for SQLite.  The most important table within the database is called Features.  This table includes as many rows as records failed to upload. You will find in this table a field called ErrorMessage, which contains the error description returned from the server. This information will help you diagnose the problem.  The field ItemId and LayerURL include information relative to the target layer where the records failed to upload. The Feature field contains the actual data that the QuickCapture mobile app attempted to upload to the ArcGIS feature layer.  The FeatureID column is used to link records with attachments, in case that they exist.

 

 

Configuring the data recovery e-mail in your ArcGIS QuickCapture projects

 

The default e-mail recipient used by the ArcGIS QuickCapture mobile app to send data recovery files is set in the QuickCapture project itself. You can define this e-mail when authoring the QuickCapture project as shown in the screenshot below. By default, the QuickCapture feature layer import process will get the e-mail associated with the logged-in account used to author the project, but you can set any e-mail you want.

 

 

The data recovery email can also be changed at any time by the owner of the QuickCapture project through the JSON editor in QuickCapture designer.

In this step by step tutorial you will learn how to create an ArcGIS QuickCapture project using ArcGIS Pro and the ArcGIS QuickCapture designer. This is a tutorial for advanced ArcGIS QuickCapture users.

 

Pre-requisites

 

  • Some basic familiarity with ArcGIS Pro 2.3 or newer.
  • A mobile device.
  • An ArcGIS Online or Enterprise account with permissions to publish feature services (Creator user type, for example)
  • Optionally, additional ArcGIS accounts with permissions to create features and the Field Apps Bundle (Field Worker, Creator or GIS Professional user types).


Context

 

For this exercise, we will pretend we need to map a network of bicycle trails in town. We will create an ArcGIS QuickCapture project that a group of riders can use to map the trails while riding their bicycles. We will map the trails categorizing them by skill (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced) as well as condition (paved versus non paved). As a bonus, we will also configure the project to capture issues in the trails as well as the locations of intersections, lookouts and bridges.

 

Overview

 

This step by step tutorial will guide  you through the following:

 

  • Configuring an ArcGIS Pro map to define the features you want to capture and their attributes.
  • Publishing your ArcGIS Pro map as a feature service.
  • Importing your feature service into a new ArcGIS QuickCapture project
  • Modifying your ArcGIS QuickCapture project with the visual editor
  • Loading your project into the ArcGIS QuickCapture mobile app
  • Modifying your ArcGIS QuickCapture project with the JSON editor
  • Sharing your project with a group
  • Viewing results

 

Following the entire tutorial to completion will take approximately 90 minutes.

 

Configuring an ArcGIS Pro map to define the features you want to capture and their attributes.

 

In this first step, we will use an ArcGIS Pro map to define the features we want to capture from ArcGIS QuickCapture. Showing how you can create a map, its layers and attributes in ArcGIS Pro is outside the scope of this tutorial, so we have made available a sample Bike Trails ArcGIS Pro map for you.

 

Download the Bike Trails ArcGIS Pro map file from ArcGIS Online

 

                      http://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=b93e48fc59154524a4b44fa29ac8d6dd 

 

 

The ArcGIS Pro map you downloaded is a Map Package File with extension mpkx.

 

Open the map in ArcGIS Pro

 

Once open, you can save the map as a new ArcGIS Pro project (aprx) into your own computer.

 

 

Note that this map has three layers:

 

  • The POI layer is used to define Points of Interest. We categorized Points of Interest using the ObservationType field into Bridge, Intersection, Lookout and Issue, and applied symbology using unique value renderer.
  • The Trails Paved and Trails Not Paves layers also applies a unique value renderer to classify the trails by the TrailType attribute: Advanced, Intermediate  and Beginner.

 

When creating your own ArcGIS Pro map documents for use in ArcGIS QuickCapture, you will want to set the symbology of your layers with either unique values or simple symbol renderers. The categories set through your symbology will later be used to create corresponding buttons in the ArcGIS QuickCapture project.

 

If you open the tables for each of these layers, you will also note that we added a bunch of extra fields to capture attributes such as speed, direction of travel, time captured and other things. These fields are optional but were added on purpose so these attributes can be populated by the ArcGIS QuickCapture mobile app.

 

 

You will be more familiar with the types of attributes ArcGIS QuickCapture can populate for you. At this point, I simply wanted to point out that adding these fields into your schema is important at this stage, so you can take advantage of them later.

 

Publishing your ArcGIS Pro map as a feature service

 

ArcGIS QuickCapture works on top of ArcGIS feature services, so we will publish our ArcGIS Pro map next.

 

From ArcGIS Pro, login into the portal (ArcGIS Enterprise or ArcGIS Online) where you want to publish your feature service. You will need to use a login with permissions to publish feature services.

 

While your map tab is selected, open the Share ribbon and select Publish Web Layer option.

 

 

Within the Share as Web Layer geoprocessing tool, set the name, summary and tags in the General tab.

 

In the Configuration tab, check the Enable editing and allow editors to: Add, update and delete features. Check also the Sync operation.

 

Next, publish your feature service.

 

Your feature service will be created under your ArcGIS account's content. You will be able to find your new feature service in your portal (ArcGIS Enterprise or  ArcGIS Online).

 

Using a web browser, login into your ArcGIS portal and open the item details page of your newly published feature service.

 

 

This will be the feature service where ArcGIS QuickCapture will store all data. Right from the item details page of your feature service, you can control some very important characteristics:

 

  • Attachments: Make sure that the POI layer has attachments enabled, or otherwise you will not be able to capture photos when you capture Points of Interest from ArcGIS QuickCapture.
  • Editing: If you switch to the Settings tab, you will be able to enable critical editing properties. Specifically:
    • Enable editing: You must enable editing, or otherwise nobody (other than you) will be able to capture data on this  layer.
    • Keep track of who created and last updated features: This option enables Editor Tracking. This is optional, but very handy.
    • Enable Sync: Also optional. ArcGIS QuickCapture does not use the Sync capabilities of a feature service at all, but enabling Sync will help making transactions from the mobile app more robust.
    • What kind of editing is allowed: ArcGIS QuickCapture can only add new features to your feature service, so you do not need to enable update and delete operations. At the very least, you need to enable Add features.

 

 

Importing your feature service into a new ArcGIS QuickCapture project

 

We are ready to create our ArcGIS QuickCapture project now.

 

Navigate to https://quickcapture.arcgis.com and login with your ArcGIS credentials.

Click on New Project, and select the Bike Trails feature service you just created.

Give your project a title, thumbnail, and a data recovery email.

The data recovery e-mail is used in the event that data captured from ArcGIS QuickCapture fails to upload.  In this case, the ArcGIS QuickCapture mobile app will provide end-users with the option to e-mail all the records that failed to upload to the owner of the QuickCapture project.  The data recovery email you set in this step, will be the default recipient of such e-mail.

Click on Create to kick-start your ArcGIS QuickCapture project from the selected feature service.

 

Changing the look and feel of your project

 

While feature services define the most fundamental aspects of QuickCapture projects, you can use QuickCapture designer to further configure and fine-tune your ArcGIS QuickCapture projects.

 

 

You can visually change properties of your project. For example:

  • Change the color, size, shape and other display properties of buttons and groups.
  • Reorder buttons within and across groups.

Note that at the bottom of the screen you can change the preview mode across different smartphone and tablet form factors.

 

Once you are happy with these changes, click on Save to persist your edits to the project.

 

ArcGIS QuickCapture projects are modeled as as its own item type in your ArcGIS organization.  If you now use your web browser to navigate to your ArcGIS content, you will see that a new ArcGIS QuickCapture item type has been added. I like to keep the feature service/s used  by the project and the project itself within the same folder. That is a personal preference, but it is not a requirement.

 

Loading your project into the ArcGIS QuickCapture mobile app

 

Next, we are  going to open the project  in the ArcGIS QuickCapture mobile app. If not already, download the app from the Apple or Google Play app stores.

Open the ArcGIS QuickCapture mobile app and login.

Click on Get Projects and download your Bike Trails project.

Push the Issue button to create a new Issue type of feature

If you want to create a trail, you will need to activate a trail button, move around and then stop the trail button.

 

Note that features are sent to the server automatically 15 seconds after you capture an observation, or immediately after closing the project in the mobile app.

 

 

Configuring data properties

 

We next are going to change the Data properties of buttons to better control what  data is captured when you push a button.

Go back to ArcGIS QuickCapture designer in your web browser.

Click on the Issue button

Select the Data tab on the right panel

 

You will now be presented with the list of fields in the Points of Interest Layer.

 

 

You can set what value you want to store when the button is pushed. You can choose to add a fixed (constant) value, or pick a variable. For example, if you are interested in known when exactly a particular button was pushed, use the Capture time variable in the Time Captured field. You can also capture the speed, direction of travel and many other things.

Set the appropriate variables for the different fields shown for the Issue button.

Note that the Observation Type field has been automatically populated, because this field was set in ArcGIS Pro when defining the symbology of the layer.  You will not want to change this value!

Once you have set variables to your fields. Click on Save to persist the changes.

In the mobile app, go back to the  main gallery, and click on the Bike Trails project to refresh it.

Open the project again in the mobile app and capture an issue.

You can look at all the data you are capturing by simply adding the Bike Trails feature service into a web map.

In your web browser, click on the QuickCapture icon in the top-left corner of QuickCapture designer to go back to the project gallery.

Hover your mouse over your Bike Trails project and click on View Results. This will add your project data into a web map for visualization.

When defining variables on fields, you will experience that the list of available variables changes depending on the geometry type of the underlying data source for the button (point, polyline, polygon) as well as the field type (text, decimal, integer, field...). 

 

Tip: If you want to define device variables for multiple buttons at once, use the SHIFT key in your keyboard to select multiple buttons at once, and then apply your variables to the whole selection.

 

Through the Data tab you can also enable photos. If you do not see the option, you need to go back to the feature service item details page in your portal and enable attachments on the POI layer. Then you will need to reload QuickCapture designer.   Photos on polyline buttons are not supported.

 

Creating exclusivity groups

 

A bike trail can either be paved, or non-paved, but not both. Similarly, the trail can be cataloged as for beginners or for advanced cyclists, but not both. We will define an exclusivity group to make sure that only one of these 6 buttons can be active at any time.

 

Go back to ArcGIS QuickCapture designer in your web browser.

Click on the Settings gear in the top panel

Select the Exclusivity Group section and add the 6 trail buttons to a new exclusivity group

 

 

If you now test you changes in the mobile app, you will notice that only one button within your exclusivity group will be active at any time. For details on exclusivity groups check the Understanding Exclusivity Groups in ArcGIS QuickCapture blog post.

 

Modifying your ArcGIS QuickCapture project with the JSON editor

 

The visual editor mode in QuickCapture designer lets you easily configure  your project.  While we are expanding the features of QuickCapture  designer every week, there are a handful of things that cannot be done visually.  For example, you cannot define the minimum horizontal accuracy threshold required to capture data. For that, you can use the JSON Editor.

 

To open the JSON Editor, click on the JSON Editor button located in the top bar, to the left of the gear icon.

 

 

You will want to be careful when editing the project JSON, making sure you edit the right properties, with the right syntax. If you are not familiar with the JSON syntax, I suggest you read this JSON Tutorial.

 

In the JSON Editor, scroll down until you find the preferences section.

 

 

The horizontalAccuracyWarning defines the threshold at which the app will show a warning to the user indicating that the horizontal accuracy of the device is below the recommended.  This value is expressed in meters.  The horizontalAccuracyError setting will prevent users from capturing data if the threshold is not met. By default is null, indicating that field users will be able to capture data regardless of the horizontal accuracy of the data, but you can change it to a value of your choice, expressed in meters. 

 

To learn more about the ArcGIS QuickCapture JSON specification, check our Configure a project—QuickCapture | ArcGIS help topic.

 

Sharing your project with a group

 

Once you are happy with your project, you will want to share it with people within your ArcGIS organization.   So far, you have been able to download the project in your mobile app because you are the author of the project, but nobody else in your organization will have access to it.

 

You can easily share your project right from within ArcGIS QuickCapture designer.

 

 

If any of the layers in your project cannot be shared with the groups you select in the dialog, you will get prompted to update the sharing of the feature layers accordingly.

 

 

View Results

 

All data captured by ArcGIS QuickCapture is persisted in a feature service. There is nothing special about these feature services: You can add them into a web map and use them with Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS, Operations Dashboard and even ArcGIS Pro.

 

The easiest way to view your date is to simply click on the View Results button shown in your project's card, as shown below: