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All Places > GIS > Applications > Collector for ArcGIS > Blog > 2017 > September

We are pleased to announce the release of Collector for ArcGIS v17.0.3 on the iOS and Windows platforms today. The Android platform will be following shortly with a release in October.


Here are the top 3 key features of this release:

1. Passing collection information through the URL scheme
When using the custom URL scheme to open Collector through another app, a website, or an email, you can now include information to start a collection. Pass information about the layer to add a feature to, as well as particular attributes and the values to assign to them. This improves integration with Workforce for ArcGIS as well as 3rd party app integration coming with CityWorks.


2. New 95 percent confidence interval setting

When doing data collection, Collector allows you to specify the accuracy you require to use the GPS to collect locations. By default, accuracy is calculated using RMS, however government agencies like the USFS and BLM require accuracy be calculated using a 95 percent confidence interval. We are now providing this option.


3. Use Managed App Configuration with ArcGIS Enterprise
Streamline your app deployment by pushing the URL of your ArcGIS Enterprise portal through your mobile device management (MDM). When your users open the app, they'll see the OAuth screen from your portal.

In addition to these new features, there are a number of bug fixes and improvements that have been made. 


Please refer to our What's New section of the documentation site for the full list of updates.


Collector Team

During an emergency event, being able to deploy field solutions that aid response and recovery efforts are not only mission critical but extremely time sensitive.


Debris Reporting is a configuration that supports Emergency Management organizations in collecting and monitoring debris. You can find details of this configuration on the ArcGIS for Emergency Management site


This blog article will illustrate, step-by-step, how you can build and deploy a debris reporting field solution with Collector for ArcGIS in minutes using a template within ArcGIS Online. 


Step 1: Create A Debris Reports Feature Layer


We have included Debris Reporting as a template within ArcGIS Online, so when you sign into your ArcGIS organization, click on Content and then click Create Feature Layer.


Create Feature Layer


From the New Hosted Feature Layer dialog, type debris in search, click to select Debris Reports and then click Create.



The wizard will ask you a number of questions. With the Debris Reports layer selected, click Next, set the working area of your field collection work, click Next, provide a name for the feature layer like “Debris Reports” and click Done.



Step 2: Author a Debris Reporting Web Map


Now that you have created your Debris Reports layer, you are ready to create a web map that Collector can open. Click Add layer to new map with full editing control to author your Debris Reporting map.



With the map open, click on the Debris Reports layer in the TOC to see the list of report types. Each of these types will be a feature type entry in Collector. Zoom into the area that you would like to start collecting debris and consider changing the basemap using the Basemap tool.


Set a layer refresh interval for the Debris Reports layer so that you can see new reports that come in from the use of Collector.



 Finally, you need to save your web map and share it into a group so that others can access it using Collector. Click the Save button and then enter a title, tags, summary for your map, and then click Save Map.


Next click the Share button and Share the map either within your organization and/or within a specific group that your responders are a member of. Note that you should be prompted to update sharing for the Debris Reports layer, click the update sharing button.


Step 3: Open Map and capture reports using Collector for ArcGIS


On your smartphone or tablet device, with Collector for ArcGIS installed from either the Apple App Store, Google Play or the Windows Store, sign into your ArcGIS organization and then search for the map you just created.



Once found, you can either tap on the map itself to open it directly and start capturing debris reports while connected or you can tap on the download button, download a map area to your device and then collect data when you are offline.


Tap on the map thumbnail to open the Debris Reporting map. With GPS enabled, the map will zoom to your current location and use that location for the collection of reports. Press the + button to start the capture process and then tap on the Vegetation report type.



With the Vegetation feature type chosen, Collector will automatically use your GPS position as the location of the debris report. You can then fill out the Type of Debris, Details, provide a name, set a submission date, etc. Tap the camera button to open the camera on your device and take one or many photos of the damage and then tap Done when complete.



Once you have completed the form and taken appropriate photos, you can either tap on the map button to ensure the location is correct or simply press the Submit button to send your changes back to the EOC.


Once submitted you will return to the map screen on your device and back in the office you will see the new debris report appear when the layer refreshes itself.



These 3 simple steps of creating a feature layer, creating a web map, and using in Collector can be completed within minutes. The solution configuration includes details for configuring an Operation View for use with Operations Dashboard for ArcGIS. Dashboards enable real-time decision making as each time a report is collected and submitted, it will appear in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC).


Note: In addition to using the feature templates within ArcGIS Online, you can use the Solution Deployment tool to deploy the feature layer, web map and debris reporting Dashboard.


Collector Team

Update: Collector's Aurora Beta is available. Already have it? Join the discussion in our Early Adopter Community


Collector for ArcGIS launched in the Apple App Store and Google Play in January 2013, followed by the Windows Store in December 2015.  Since its initial release Collector has evolved considerably, and as its capabilities have grown, so has its adoption and we are very thankful for your support.


Now the time has come for a refresh. A refresh in user experience, a refresh in technology, a refresh in field data collection workflows. So… here comes the Aurora Project.


Through the Aurora project, Collector is getting a number of improvements you have requested:

  • Better maps
  • Improved user experience
  • Smarter forms
  • Streamlined offline workflows
  • Enhancements to high accuracy 3D data collection


Most importantly, the Aurora Project brings a new foundation we will build upon to advance data collection workflows in the ArcGIS platform. Let’s take a deeper look at some of these improvements:


Better maps

Collector is adding support for vector basemaps (both online and offline), so that you can view crisp, high quality cartography that takes advantage of the amazing pixel density of your iPad Pro or Samsung S8+ device. Downloading vector tiles to your device will dramatically reduce the footprint of offline content on your device as well.


Rich symbology and smart mapping capabilities you rely on to effectively represent your spatial information and publish using ArcGIS Pro will look great in Collector.  In addition, it will support displaying labels in your map, the top idea you’ve asked for in Collector.


With these improved mapping capabilities, your maps will look great rotated, too!

FIMT symbology, Labeling and Heat Maps

FIMT symbology, Labeling and Heat Maps


Improved user experience

Significant improvements to the user experience (UX) of Collector are coming and you will see this in the very first beta release. We have spent time redesigning the collect experience so that we can streamline workflows. Some improvements include:

  1. Better layout to support your workflows – Core tools like Collect are more accessible to promote the scenarios you use every day.
  2. Easier capture of accurate data locations – use cross hairs that provide a “cursor-on-target” experience to precisely define location.


  3. Better use of screen real estate - let’s face it, working on a phone often leaves you wanting a bit more screen real estate.  Sometimes you want to see the map, sometimes you want to see the form, sometimes you want to see a bit of both. With our new sliding panel design, move between these views seamlessly by sliding the panel up or down to seamlessly move between map-centric and form-centric views to fit your workflow.


  4. Smarter data entry - have a lot of exciting work planned for the form, starting with the UX. Take a photo in fewer taps, capture additional media (audio, video), read information from QR and bar codes, edit in place on the form, and use a proper keyboard when editing numeric fields.


Smarter Forms

Forms are improving more than just the UX: you’ll find they honor the modern capabilities of the ArcGIS platform.


Collector is founded on the principles of the web map. Layers that you collect data into follow the guidelines set by feature layers you author and feature services you publish. The dictionary of feature types are based upon feature templates you create, and the forms experience is driven by popups you configure from the information model you create. But within that popup, support for validation of required fields, Arcade expressions, and attribute rules will be added.


Arcade Expressions are particularly exciting, as they will drive a smarter forms experience when editing in Collector, in web apps, and in ArcGIS Pro. Conditional logic, enrichment of data, inheritance of values from other features, grouping, and ordering of attributes will all come with this update.


Streamlined Offline Workflows

Collector works anywhere, anytime you need it. Maps can be downloaded to your device and you can synchronize changes when you gain connectivity. This release brings a simplified download experience, improved management of offline map areas, and the ability to keep working when you drift in and out of connectivity.


Within your ArcGIS organization, you will be able to plan ahead: prepare the areas to go offline, store them in your content, and share them throughout your organization. Mobile workers simply select the map areas they need and download them to their devices.

We are simplifying the interactive download experience as well as managing local content on the device. One key aspect is how you work with basemaps. In addition to packaged tile map services, Collector will support packaged mobile maps built with ArcGIS Pro and vector tiles. In the app, you’ll be able to download and manage a collection of offline basemaps.


Enhancements to High Accuracy 3D Data Collection

As part of this project, Collector is adding support for direct capture of 3D data. In addition, vertical datum transformations will allow you to transform elevations on the fly, eliminating office workflows usually required to achieve accurate elevations.   


Collector - Aurora Project Schedule

The Aurora development project is underway and the first beta of Collector’s new dawn will be this fall! We will release a series of betas, bringing new capabilities with each update. To participate in the beta, please email and then join our Early Adopter Program.  Your feedback throughout the beta is important to us – we want to hear from you!


Our current target for release is Q3 of 2018 for the iOS platform and Q4 for the Android platform. We have not set a release date for the Windows platform yet. We know Collector is an essential part of your mobile workflows, and our goal is to make the transition easy for you. Starting with the beta releases, Collector as you know it today and this significant update will happily live side-by-side on your device.


Collector Team