Collector - The Aurora Project

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09-06-2017 08:20 AM
JeffShaner
Esri Regular Contributor
70 165 49.1K
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 collectorbeta@esri.com 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

165 Comments
RyanJalynski
New Contributor II

How do you get access to the beta version of collector? After sending an email should I expect a beta key and an explanation of how to install it on an iPad or is this already available in the app store?

Edit: I just received the email on how to do it.

CaryLancaster
New Contributor II

Exciting... Please send me access to the Beta...

we are currently doing all of our network inspections in a combination of collector and survey 123 as we needed the forms as well as the ability to access existing features.

I am finding that keeping track of all 25 users with multiple apps is difficult to say the least and I believe this new release will solve a lot of the issues..... would love to test..

anussarashinae
New Contributor

i'm interesting to test with Collector Aurora. Would you mine to add me to the group for testing and exchanging an ideas for this topic?

AndrewWillingale
New Contributor III

We've also just come across the issue of NULL values in Collector, after promising a customer that we could specify that certain fields must be completed. Not ideal!

jshaner-esristaff‌ Please can you comment?

NathanLillie
New Contributor II

I do not see Aurora in the Beta Opportunity section. 

NathanLillie
New Contributor II

I have been testing Aurora and this last version is finally showing relationship tables. However I am only able to view not create new. The viewing option and interface is not as user friendly as Collector. 

I am not seeing how Survey 123 is interactive with Aurora... could be I dont have any survey 123 maps only collector. https://community.esri.com/community/gis/applications/collector-for-arcgis/blog/2017/09/06/the-auror...

DougMorgenthaler
Esri Contributor

Hi Cary-

To participate in the beta, please emailcollectorbeta@esri.com.

DougMorgenthaler
Esri Contributor

Hi Anussara-

To participate in the beta, please email collectorbeta@esri.com.

DougMorgenthaler
Esri Contributor

Nathan-

Glad you've been able to do some testing.  In the current beta release editing related tables isn't there yet, should be available in the next month or so.

StanislavVyskocil
New Contributor II

Please are Z coordintes (for points as well as polylines) already supported in iOS  beta version?
If not, when is it planned to be released?

DerekWaggenspack
New Contributor II

I got into the beta and something I noticed is that symbology for layers created through Arcade expressions are not visible in the Map.  Is this something that is expected to be implemented?

DonPritt
Occasional Contributor II

Looking forward to Collector Aurora and its abilities, kind of nervous that Trimble R2 GNSS receivers are not supported at this time, we're looking at purchasing several of these units after testing with the current Collector App.

Hopefully they will be supported soon

ManfredRöhrig
New Contributor II

Our users collect data of plant pests in traps which are placed inside the crop to stay there for several weeks or months. The traps are marked with an ID and revisited on a weekly basis. For the time being our users work paper-based and we plan to use Collector/Aurora to support them. The idea is to use NFC Tags to mark the traps because we believe them more resistant against weather and farming activities than QR or bar codes and are moreover re-usable. The user should read the custom URL encoded in the tag with his mobile device and Collector/Aurora is launched directly for data entry for this specific trap.

Two questions:

  1. Do you plan to support NFC tag reading?
  2. Do you plan to extend the custom URL scheme to refer to a specific item in a layer similar to the URL parameters with WebApp Builder?

Thanks a lot for your help 

Manfred

JRAdams
New Contributor III

Any updates on when we can look for this (snapping) to be included? 

JordanMiller4
Occasional Contributor III

Has the Aurora Project been released?

JRAdams
New Contributor III

It is still in Beta. You can join the early adopter program to try it out. Only available on iOS right now.

Collector for ArcGIS 

SeanDolan1
Occasional Contributor II

Hi Jordan -- This webinar next week may be of interest to you.  The Aurora Project and a preview of its latest release will be a topic of discussion:

Collector for ArcGIS: Map-centric data collection | Esri Australia 

JosephineRudd
New Contributor

Will there be multi-feature selection and editing capabilities?    For my workflow this is essential for post storm recovery, it frustrates field crews to have to select each individual features to update the same info vs  selecting multiple feature to update the same data.

KathleenWallis
Occasional Contributor II

Josephine -

Totally agree with you on this issue.
Katy

Lake_Worth_BeachAdmin
Regular Contributor

absolute must!

CaryLancaster
New Contributor II

would be very usefiull to us as well!

deleted-user-jB5cJoDdjCuX
New Contributor III

We are using all the current apps, would really like to see what Aurora has in store for us.

wondering if this will be able to integrate with our Schneider software at all.

deleted-user-jB5cJoDdjCuX
New Contributor III

Awesome, thank you Jordan!

StanMcShinsky
Regular Contributor

When I clicked on that link it says that the event is not found.

Christian__Smitty_Smith
New Contributor III

You can find past webinars from ESRI austrailia here.  The direct link to the webinar on Youtube is here 

DionO_Reilly
New Contributor III

Other than easy access to the camera has there been any upgrades to the photo attachment?  Primarily a way to rename photos from a domain rather than having to hold down on the photo to rename it by typing or something similar to Survey123?

TomMoran1
New Contributor II

Hey Doug, 

I've emailed collectorbeta@esri.com and have never heard back. 

The link to the beta community page also give me a 404 via SSO. 


Any different way I should be trying to access? 

Thanks,
Tom

PoeymirouTimothée
New Contributor

Absolutely! We ask it regularly, it is our main need.

JohnKidd
New Contributor III

Hi Jeff, I could use this functionality as well. I'd like to symbolize a hosted parcels layers' related table by last inspection date. Otherwise I'll be setting up some attribute rules to auto populate last inspection data on the parcel layer from the related table.

heidislakans
New Contributor

Any update on the release date of the Collector Aurora?

DerekLaw
Esri Esteemed Contributor

Hi Heidi,

Collector for ArcGIS (Aurora) for iOS is targeted for Q3, and Q4 for Android.

Hope this helps,

ChristineLarsen
New Contributor III

We're running Collector on Windows, would very much like to know when Aurora is scheduled for release on Windows 10?

Thank you.

JasonBatory1
New Contributor II

Try this https://buy.serialio.com/collections/adapters/products/bluesnap-bluetooth-2-1-to-rs232-adapter.  We had a similar issue trying to connect our COM (RS232) port only Novatel SMART6-L GPS receivers to our tablets (Samsung Galaxy S2 Tab) for use with Collector for ArcGIS and found a solution in the BlueSnap device.

AlexanderRodriguez
New Contributor

So one of the things I need to do is  to collect MSL using collector. The current collector does not have the capability of collecting Z values.  In Aurora beta it has the capability but the GPS location is not available. So, does anyone know if I am missing something or its just not working.  I connect my ipad to a Trimble R2 GNSS receiver but still can find a location.  Anyone have an answer?

DonPritt
Occasional Contributor II

Alex, last I heard is Trimbles R2's aren't dialed in yet to Aurora and are not supported, unless that's changed....  

AlexanderRodriguez
New Contributor

So it does work with current collector but not yet with aurora. Now we do all of our collection with the R2 if that isn’t going to work with the new collector will they get rid off the old collector?

Also I was told that they where lunching the new collector in June or July has that changed.?

Sent from my iPhone

RobBlash
Regular Contributor

From Derek Law (esri staff) on June 12:

Collector for ArcGIS (Aurora) for iOS is targeted for Q3, and Q4 for Android.

DonPritt
Occasional Contributor II

We have 4 Sub-CM R2 units and also use Collector, my Trimble rep said it's in the "works" to get them compatible with Aurora and should be there upon Aurora's release, so it's a little concern but Trimble and ESRI are joined at the hip so I have confidence.

AlexanderRodriguez
New Contributor

Cool to hear, now do you know if it will be able to collect MSL or will it be able to display the MSL somewhere?

Thanks

DerekLaw
Esri Esteemed Contributor

Hi Christine,

Apologies for the late reply. I checked with the Collector Dev team and I don't have an estimate on when Aurora will be released for Windows. Sorry.

ChrisPouliot
New Contributor III

We recently were shocked to find out that the current version of Collector does not save authentication information when working in a disconnected environment (#BUG-000092295).  So if Collector crashes in the field I am unable to log back in to continue working unless I can find a WiFi connection.  This bug is from 2015 and has yet to be resolved.  Will this be fixed in Aurora?  

KevinBurke
Esri Contributor

Hi Chris,

Thanks for the feedback. I have a few questions for you:

- Just for clarification on the issue you're running into, while in the field in a disconnected environment with offline maps, Collector crashes. When relaunching the app you're getting prompted for credentials and cannot access the offline maps. Is that correct?

- I reviewed the case you had recently with technical support, where you mentioned that Collector (released version) is crashing for you on iOS 11. Can you please elaborate on how the app is crashing? Does it happen frequently?

- Does this issue happen for you when relaunching the app only after it had crashed or can you also reproduce the issue if you were to close/relaunch the app manually in the same disconnected environment?

- Are you working with ArcGIS Online/ArcGIS Enterprise?

- Are you currently testing with Aurora and seeing this issue as well?

Thanks for the information

-Kevin

ChrisPouliot
New Contributor III

Thanks for the reply Kevin.  

- Yes, they are prompted to log back in after crashing.  

- Our group that is experiencing the crashing are connecting to a high-res receiver.  I don't think the crashing once in a while is a huge deal for them but they are away from WiFi in the wilderness for a week at a time.  Not being able to log back in is a huge show-stopper.  Most of our projects do not have crashing issues and, therefore, have not run into this issue.

- We can reliably recreate the issue without crashing.  If I am disconnected from WiFi I can't log into Collector (iOS).  If I am logged into Collector and then disconnect from WiFi I am unable to log out.  

- We use ArcGIS Enterprise and authenticate with our Active Directory logins.

- I have not tested this with Aurora yet.

Are you able to replicate this issue?  

KevinBurke
Esri Contributor

Hi Chris,

Thanks for the response and for that information.

Firstly - if possible, I would recommend for you to start testing with Aurora with your current workflows and share any feedback in the Early Adopter site forum that you will have access to.With regards to this behavior, the current Beta version has a similar (slightly different) issue that will be addressed in another Beta version, which we'd like your feedback with testing against your environment. You should be able to access offline maps when launching the app from a disconnected environment.

Secondly - Would you be able to share one of the recent iOS crash logs with me? if so, on the iOS device go to Settings > Privacy > Analytics > Analytics Data > locate the most recent crash log for Collector per the time stamp > Select it > Use the share button to email it to yourself > Then you can email it to me at KBurke@esri.com.

Thanks

-Kevin

ChrisPouliot
New Contributor III

With the current version of Aurora I am able to log out without WiFi but can't log back in.  I specify the URL of my portal and then click 'Continue' and get 'Unable to Access the Internet:  Turn off airplane mode or use Wi-Fi to access Collector'.  

I've emailed the group to get that crash log.

If this thread should be somewhere besides this blog let me know.

KevinBurke
Esri Contributor

Thanks for the feedback Chris, and for requesting that crash log.

For the Aurora testing feedback, please post to the Collector for ArcGIS (Aurora) forum in the Early Adopter site at Welcome to our Feedback Community

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks

-Kevin

RyanPurdy
Occasional Contributor

Has anyone else noticed tracking layers not updating?  We tested the app for the first time yesterday and there are no records.

I tried adding this to the early adopter forum but I don't see the link on the dashboard.

DougMorgenthaler
Esri Contributor

Ryan, Collector (Aurora) isn't going to support the tracking capabilities that we have currently (at least not in the same form). You may have seen some news about a new tracking capability that is coming in the platform if you attended the UC or caught this blog post. From a Collector perspective we see this as a big step forward.  Feel free to reach out directly if you'd like to discuss further.

RyanPurdy
Occasional Contributor

Thanks Doug I wasn't aware.  I look forward to seeing more information.  

KristieRabasca
New Contributor II

Can't wait for the labeling features in Collector!  When will it be available?