Collector for GIS

04-11-2017 08:01 AM
New Contributor

Hello. I am a newbie to GIS Collector offline. I am clueless about how to get started on making files available for download so they can be accessed offline. While I am proficient with GIS desktop analysis the buck stops there. Can someone direct me to where to get started? Like, do i need an enterprise account, server etc to first upload my files? Your help will educate me a lot. Thank you!

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4 Replies
Esri Regular Contributor

There are some Collector for ArcGIS Tutorials that may be of interest to you.  

Prepare maps for offline use—Collector for ArcGIS | ArcGIS 


MVP Emeritus

In the last couple weeks, we have also been looking into using  Collector for more for offline use (no cell or Internet).  I'll share a few of our experiences....In particular, in the link Mark included, take notice of

Going offline requires using hosted data or data on ArcGIS 10.2.2 for Server or later.

But in another help doc which I read last week (but which I can't locate right now, of course)..

To use the sync capability, all the data in the feature service must be from an enterprise geodatabase. Also, you must prepare the data so it can be used offline and, if required, synchronized through the feature service when you have connectivity.
The data you use in a sync-enabled feature service can be either nonversioned with archiving enabled or, if your organization's data or workflows require it, the data can be versioned.
Be aware that you can only enable the sync capability when all the data in the map is configured exactly the same; you cannot have a mix of versioned and nonversioned data.

So, in not 100% sure whether whether AGOL hosted works or if it requires Enterprise SDE.  However, in an initial test using hosted services and with sync enabled (as required) the download app button in Collector was more testing for us.

For prepping basemaps for offline use, the fastest way to use our customer base maps was to use the Export Tile Cache—Help | ArcGIS Desktop with the source being a tile cache folder that already existed (not the actual ArcGIS Server service, but the cache for the service). Because the cache already existed, it only had to extract the tiles and package them into a .tpk which we could then "side load", in our case, to an iPad using iTunes.

Our customer rep also pointed our a fairly new tool from the Esri Labs (sample tools, not official and not fully supported)   Tile Package Kreator | ArcGIS Blog     This is a fairly easy to use tool that can help extract basemap tiles from AGOL basemaps.  For us, the sample services did not give the detail we needed, but the tool was user friendly and has potential for us in the future.

Other  pages of interest..

 Tutorial: Configure feature service data for offline use—Documentation | ArcGIS Enterprise 

Go offline—Collector for ArcGIS | ArcGIS    (Has info for iOS, android and Windows )

Using your own Basemap layers with Collector for ArcGIS | ArcGIS Blog 

Hope some of this helps.

FYI, we have had one gromp in our office successfully use Collector for some off line, ground-based surveys, but this survey will be conducted by air, which will have different requirements.

Occasional Contributor III

Thank you Rebecca.

Interesting summary to use as starting point for me

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MVP Emeritus

I found the help doc that had the quote re: needing an Enterprise SDE.  It is in Prepare data for offline use—Documentation | ArcGIS Enterprise  under the heading Data Preparation   Because it is in the help docs for ArcGIS Server, in this case, and not AGOL or Collector, that might be the difference.  That is (my assumption), if syncing with ArcGIS Server is must be an Enterprise SDE, but if using an AGOL hosted service, it would not need that.  

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