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Advice about whether or not using attached pics in a big project

07-01-2015 05:14 AM
New Contributor III

Hi, everyone.

We are using Collector with our own Portal (10.3 now and in several weeks will be upgrading to 10.3.1). We've sent our force task of inspectors to the field with Collector in iPads 64 GB with precached ortoimagery and other raster maps, and also with huge databases of several millions of parcels (several million parcels!!). The system works fine: the queries are really quick, the visualization is astoundingly fast and the user experience is so good.

However, I see the sync process is still weak and this opens a question: whether or not we should be working with attached photos in the Geodatabase. We have the possibility to insert pics with every parcel verified in the field (it's configured in our databases and webmap and it works fine actually), but we don't know if this will work in large scale. I mean... we will have 6 teams, each one having to visit and control about 7.000 parcels, and in each parcel they can collect as many as 1 or 2 photos. As a result, the sync process will turn into heavy very quickly, as every inspector will have to transfer for instance 300 pictures to the central database but also will have to download the 300x5 photos of the rest of the teams.

I recommended to start not using the photo attachment function.

What would you do? Do you have experience with such a complex project environment using attachments?

We would appreciate any comments based on your  experience. Will be very useful for us.

Further details about our systems:

- ArcGIS for Server 10.3 (will update to 10.3.1 soon)

- Portal 10.3 (will update to 10.3.1 soon)

- SQL Server 2008 R2 as backend DBMS

- Field devices: iPad Mini 2 64 GB with 4G cards. Encrypted VPN connections.

Futher details of the geographic information included in the webmap:

- Vector data: 2 parcel database of about 1 million records each one (sync and query only)

- Vector data: 2 parcel databases with the selected parcels to verify (about 42000 polygon features with update, sync and query functionalities activated).

- Vector data: 2 additional databases (about 800 polygon features with sync and query only).

- Raster data: 2014 aerial imaginery, precached to 1:1000 scale and transfered to the devices using cable (tpk files of 32 GB). This is the default background map.

- Raster data: 2010 aerial imaginery, precached to 1:4.000 scale and also transfered to the devices using cable (tpk of 8 GB).

- Raster data: 3 additional background maps precached to 1:8.000 scale (tpk of about 2 GB).

Thanks in advance for your help.

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2 Replies
Occasional Contributor

Our database is not as big as yours but we have written a script to take the attachments off the SDE database and put them into sharepoint (well nearly! It currently write to a windows folder). The photos will only be accessible in the office however it gets round the problem of it downloading all the images on syncing.

We will be trialling it over the next couple of months.

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New Contributor III

Thanks for your information.

We have opted for doing something similar. I feel attracted by the idea of using the attachments because having all the information embedded in the Geodatabase is cool, but I don't want to geopardize the whole project for this. Syncing is now fast and stable. I'd rather not to take to more risks...

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