Collector - The Aurora Project

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09-06-2017 08:20 AM
JeffShaner
Esri Regular Contributor
70 165 48.8K
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
DougMorgenthaler
Esri Contributor

Glad to hear that labels will be a big addition to your Collector workflows. We're targeting early Q4 for final release on iOS. Android and Windows to follow in 2019.

KristieRabasca
New Contributor II

Excellent!

Kristie L. Rabasca, P.E.

207-415-5830 (cell)

CarmelConnolly
Regular Contributor

Hi Julie, 

It'll be a side by side release, more information here: Collector for ArcGIS - Releasing the Aurora Project 

Carmel

PeteCrosier
Occasional Contributor III

Hi Doug - the Android beta forum doesn't seem to have posting new topics or replies enabled.

JohnKidd
New Contributor III

When traveling, the GPS locator has the arrow in which direction you're going. When not moving, the arrow goes away. Can this arrow be present when at a stand still or have the cone like gps symbol similar to Google Maps? When users are in the field facing south, the map is still facing north and makes selecting the correct parcels a little difficult for users not familiar with smart phone to begin with.

DougMorgenthaler
Esri Contributor

Thanks Pete. Permissions updated and should support    new posts and threads. 

MarkTryon4
New Contributor II

This feature would significantly improve our workflows as well. Hopefully check boxes to select multiple features are on their way!

JürgenAchilles
Occasional Contributor

I am trying to figure out how to switch between basemaps and were is the Manage menu gone?

Kylie
by Esri Regular Contributor
Esri Regular Contributor

Hi Jürgen -- Basemaps are now available in the overflow menu when viewing a map (the three dots in the upper right corner). You no longer need to go to Manage to remove downloaded maps--go to the offline map area in the Maps list and the overflow menu (three dots) includes removing the area. For us to best help you, could you please provide your feedback in the beta community (Welcome to our Feedback Community)? Thank you!

HuongTran1
New Contributor III

Doug Morgenthaler Any update on Beta version Aurora for Androids? Thanks.

CarmelConnolly
Regular Contributor
HuongTran1
New Contributor III

Carmel Connolly‌ thank you so much excited to test it.

ChrisSambol
New Contributor III

Just trying out the new and improved Collector for ArcGIS.  Love the improvements, however one thing that I am missing tremendously (or I can't find) is how to switch accounts like in the previous Collector version for Android.  This was a huge positive for us and our staff using Android devices that are used with a shared workforce.  Is this in the new version and if not can it please be added to match the previous version of Collector.

Thanks,

Chris

ChrisSambol
New Contributor III

Just tested this on the Xplore D10 Android tablet and the "crosshairs" were not present like on other devices.  Just wanted to bring this forward to the Esri team.

CatherineHeindel
New Contributor II

Are there any plans to support Views in the New Collector?

JulieMikolajczyk3
New Contributor III

This would be extremely useful! I love how flexible the views are for various projects in AGOL, but not being able to use them in Collector means that the queries and filters we apply are limited in reach.

DerekLaw
Esri Esteemed Contributor

FYI,

Tomorrow Nov 15: Free Live Training Seminar on Collector for ArcGIS (Aurora)

https://community.esri.com/groups/esri-training/blog/2018/10/09/october-25-collector-for-arcgis-live... 

Hope this helps,

DerekLaw
Esri Esteemed Contributor

FYI: the video recording of the Collector for ArcGIS (Aurora) 1 hour webinar is now available,

Field Data Workflows with Collector for ArcGIS

Hope this helps,

DerekLaw
Esri Esteemed Contributor
KristanPeters
New Contributor II

Dear Community,

I see many people have the same issue with Panasonic FZ-G1 with Ublox GPS and Collector. Is there a solution to this yet? We are about to invest in some new units of the above, to replace our existing units which we were using GPS connect and external GPS (via GPS connect for COM, which is really messy and comes with big issues).  We would like confirmation that the new collector will work with it without having to use GPS connect (It should have its own version of "GPS connect" built in so this will work out of the box) before making any investment. This is a really big problem for us regarding the ideal combination product and software (Panasonic FZ-G1 with Ublox GPS and Collector Aurora). iOS and Android are not an option for us. Not worried if we have to wait for the Aurora update to Collector (as long as there is a timeline), we just need to know that we will be able to connect these devices without a dodgy work around (GPS connect). This is also stalling investment in development of other ArcGIS solutions (which will be accessed from the new FZ-G1 toughpads using the same GPS position information).

JoshHabel
Occasional Contributor

I noticed that on the Android version you can drop a pin and it gives you lat, long, and address but on the ios version it only gives you lat, long.  Is address something that will be coming for ios???

Josh

ColinLawrence
Esri Contributor

Josh,

Both platforms should return addresses. Are you using the same Web Map and Organization? I verified in the Try It maps (before signing in).

Colin

JoshHabel
Occasional Contributor

Yes this was with the same Web Map and Organization. Could it be a setting with my map?

Josh

ColinLawrence
Esri Contributor

It shouldn't be the Web Map as both platforms read the map settings the same. Did you try with the Try It maps? You have to log out of your current account and click "Try It" on the home sign in screen. If you continue to have issues create a new thread and feel free to @ mention me or provide a link. You can also open a case with Support. 

Colin

JordanMiller4
Occasional Contributor III

Our organization has been utilizing the new Aurora Collector App on an enterprise level but we've notice that when users download maps child versions are created and they don't disappear when users sync and delete those offline maps. What would be our best option dealing with child versions that may or may not still exist on peoples phones? 

GaryEdmondo
New Contributor

We have a map published to AGOL.  We can download an offline area of the map using Collector (Auroa) IOS but not on our Android device.  Anybody with similar issues and/or resolution?

ColinLawrence
Esri Contributor

Gary,

Which version of the Android app are you using, Classic or the Beta? Are these preplanned areas or on-demand (defined on the phone)? Currently, on demand offline areas are not supported in the Android Beta. 

Colin

DougBrowning
MVP Frequent Contributor

Just coming here to ask this also.  In the Android beta Collector update that came out today it specifically says in the description that peplanned Offline Areas are now supported. (In the What's New section) No button for on demand yet.

When will at least regular offline be coming to Android?  I have field season starting in May and could really use it.  I am using an Arccade expression so Classic does not cut it.  Will there still be side loaded TPK support.  If so will I finally be able to pick the dir.  Sharing tpks basemaps across Collector and Survey123 used to be easy but now is really hard.

ColinLawrence
Esri Contributor

Doug,

Pre planned areas are supported in the beta; creating on demand areas are not. On demand support is currently being worked on and will certainly be in the final release later this year (or in a future beta release if applicable). Referencing a side loaded basemap is being worked on for iOS at the moment and will also be added to Android but I cannot give an estimated time frame at the moment. 

Colin

GaryEdmondo
New Contributor

Colin,

I am using the beta version 18.1.0 build 2175. These are pre-planned

areas. I can work with them on wi-fi or 4G connection, but get no

download choices as i do in the classic version.

Gary

ColinLawrence
Esri Contributor

Gary,

The beta build should be 2383 (just updated today) and pre planned areas should work. If you log into the Try It account from the sign in screen, the Gas Network Web Map has some Pre planned areas you can test downloading. If you continue to have issues please feel free to message me or contact Support. Thanks!

Colin

MargaretBurant
New Contributor

Hello!

I'm wondering when Arcade expressions will be supported in the new version of Collector for ArcGIS? Our current Arcade expressions for our locations do not appear to be working (the points either end up off the coast of Africa, or just somewhere else in the city, with no apparent rhyme or reason.)  Is there a solution to this or do we just have to wait until an update to the app?

Thanks!

BassemHalawi
New Contributor

Hi,

I just tried the beta version on android device and it is way enhanced now but I wonder why im not able to see my related tables. I am only able to see one related table only when trying to add new records to my tabular data. in the original collector version i was able to see both related tables and  I choose to open or edit anyone of them.

Thanks

Kylie
by Esri Regular Contributor
Esri Regular Contributor

Hi Bassem -- Thanks for reaching out. To best facilitate and continue the discussion I’d appreciate you posting your issue in our Collector Early Adopter community forum -- that way we, along with other beta testers, will be able to work with you to identify and resolve what you’re seeing.

Kylie
by Esri Regular Contributor
Esri Regular Contributor

Hi Margaret - Are you working with the released version of Collector on iOS, or are you using the beta version? If the beta version, please post your issue in our Collector Early Adoptercommunity forum. If this is for the released app, I'd recommend starting your own thread here on GeoNet so that it is more visible.

thomasbales
Occasional Contributor

I see that in the iOS released version you can select a default program to navigate and get directions from. 

I do not see this option in the settings of the Android Beta app.

Can I assume that this functionality is eventually coming to the Android version? If so, can anybody give me an expected time frame? Thanks much.

Kylie
by Esri Regular Contributor
Esri Regular Contributor

Hi Thomas - Yes, this will be coming to Android as well. I don't have a specific date when you'll see it in the beta at this time.

DaveStewart1
New Contributor III

I believe there's an issue with the Beta version not capturing GPS receiver information. I used the location tracker prebuilt feature layer and checked that option off. I collected points in both the original Collector App and the Beta Collector. When I went back into the office I checked and the original captured receiver info and the beta version did not.

I used the beta version since it has the ability to add labels (great! this is essential!) but had to sacrifice capturing receiver information.

Kylie
by Esri Regular Contributor
Esri Regular Contributor

Hi Dave -- Are you using the beta available for Android? It doesn't (yet) support recording the GPS metadata. This will be coming in a later beta, and will be in place before the release. 

In the future, please post your feedback and issues in our Collector Early Adoptercommunity forum. That way the right people on the team, as well as other users of the beta app, can see and respond to it. Thanks!

DaveStewart1
New Contributor III

Hi Kylie,

Thanks for your response and providing the quick link for feedback/ issues regarding the Beta Collector. I will post there  in the future.  

Yes, I'm using the beta for Android. I look forward to the final release!

CaitlinHagar
New Contributor II

https://community.esri.com/community/gis/applications/collector-for-arcgis/blog/2017/09/06/the-auror...‌ 

Is there an update coming for Windows OS?  Our organization supports 16 Surface Pros and we can't even use labels in Collector.  I know of many other organizations stifled with this same lack of functionality.  Please help!

HughWyn-Harris
New Contributor II

Our organisation is also waiting for the Windows OS version.

Kylie
by Esri Regular Contributor
Esri Regular Contributor

We will be updating on Windows as well, but we aren't starting development on it until later this year.

JustinBurdette
New Contributor III

I am trying to get a Trimble R1 working with collector and everything is OK except for elevation data. 

Has this functionality made it to the production app or am I missing something? 

"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.   "

HayleighPervorse1
New Contributor II

Hello,

it is advertised that this version of collector has the ability for " side-loading vector tile packages " for offline use. Is there documentation on how to do this? Hass anyone gotten this to work?

Thanks,

Hayleigh

KevinBurke
Esri Contributor

Hi Hayleigh, 

Here is the Collector for ArcGIS documentation both for copying the basemap onto the device and for referencing that basemap when taking a map offline:

Copy basemap onto device - https://doc.arcgis.com/en/collector/ipad/help/offline-prep.htm#ESRI_SECTION1_20F822B9E7C54E4FAFF9B70... and https://doc.arcgis.com/en/collector/ipad/help/configure-collector.htm#ESRI_SECTION2_9DC8BD3DEEC1411D...

Reference basemap on local device - https://doc.arcgis.com/en/collector/ipad/help/offline-prep.htm#ESRI_SECTION2_2239893E910B4C3AA877404...

Can you also please explain where you're at in this process currently and what issues you're running into?

Thank you

-Kevin

HayleighPervorse1
New Contributor II

Thanks for the reply!

I don't think side loading will actually work for us. The issue we are facing is that we want to be able to add multiple hosted vector tiles to a web map for offline capability in collector. It seems that you can only have one which serves as the basemap, is that correct? The problem is we have a very large dataset that we have only been able to publish as a hosted vector tile. Is it not possible to load multiple hosted vector tiles to a web map for offline use?


Thanks,

Hayleigh

KevinBurke
Esri Contributor

Hi Hayleigh,

Thank you for the information. 

Just for clarification, you have multiple separate hosted vector tile services that you want to add to a single basemap. Is that correct?

These individual vector tile services will get created from the one large one you currently have now. Is that correct? Basically just breaking it up into smaller chunks. 

Are there field users that would use a different vector tile service basemap depending on the area they are working in? 

In general when creating web maps in ArcGIS Online/ArcGIS Enterprise, while only a single basemap group(which could contain several individual layers) can be applied, you can still add additional tiled services to the web map map as operational layers. This will then give the user the ability to toggle those layers on/off in the Collector app to show different information. As long as all the individual tile services support exporting tiles, the map should be able to be downloaded for offline use. 

Thank you

-Kevin

DougBrowning
MVP Frequent Contributor

I think they want what I have always wanted.  Vector tile packages (and TPKs) that work like layers not basemaps.  That way we can stack our roads, streams, etc all on top of each - WITH the ability to turn them on and off.  Burning them all into one is not really very useful.

I had the ability to stack TPKs in a 3rd party app we used to use called MobileMap.  It was based on the Esri code stack so I know this is possible (even 5+ years ago).  In fact I was contacted by the Collector team about 2 years ago asking me for a list of what I wanted with offline TPKs.  I gave a whole list and then never heard anything again - AND none of the things I asked for happened.

This should be easy to implement and it would be super, super useful.  I thought it was the whole point of vector tiles.  Only allowing 1 makes no sense.

Please, Please consider it.

Thanks!

HayleighPervorse1
New Contributor II

Thanks again for your reply!

What Doug said is correct, we do want to be able to add multiple vector tile layers into the web map, not just one as a basemap. That does not serve the purpose we need. Is this an enhancement that is in the works? Otherwise it appears there is no way for us to prepare our data for offline use in collector.

Thanks,

Hayleigh