Location Tracking with Collector - Tracking while device is locked/sleep mode

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04-06-2016 08:15 AM
Pottawattamie_CountyGIS
New Contributor

I'm trying to set up Location Tracking for Collector and I'm noticing that Location Tracking is not working while users have their cellular device  locked or in sleep mode while they are working. 

Example: They turn on Collector, start recording their route, then close their phone and put it in their pocket.  Their phones are still recording their route with the feature layers but the tracking layer isn't recording anything because their phone is locked.

Is there a way to change that?  I only want to use Location Tracking while they are recording.

4 Replies
CatherineRawson
New Contributor

I have the same question.

I have realized that part of the problem is that this layer in particular is set to automatically shut off when one pulls away from the view, either by going using a different app like taking a photo or just simply putting the phone/tablet to sleep while in the field...so I am wondering if it is possible to keep this layer always default selected whenever the map in the app is opened. I have searched around in the properties but I can't find anything to change that would allow for this layer to automatically show up as a selected layer just like the Field Notes or other map layers....

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AndrewSouthern
Occasional Contributor

I believe features are still being collected even though the layer itself is not visible (by default) in Collector.  However, I would prefer that the author of the web map have the ability to choose the visibility of this layer the same as any other layer.  I understand that it's meant to run in the background and can cause clutter on the map in Collector but I would still prefer to be able to toggle the view on and off via the web map rather than having to manually turn the layer on every time Collector is opened.  This was especially true last week when we attempted to use Collector during an event that involved roughly 60 users who are not familiar with the app and having to explain to that many people how to simply turn the layer on was cumbersome. 

We also ran into the problem of the tracking layer not collecting points when the device was asleep.  I thought that this was something that had been previously addressed.  I'll keep digging around GeoNet and do some more of my own testing but would really like for this to work in a similar way as Workforce where user locations are tracked even while the app is inactive.

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HannahGeorge
New Contributor

Also have this question - I'm considering moving from Avenza to Arc Collector, but the route tracking in Avenza seems to be far more user-friendly, with the ability to turn on/off the track, connecting point data with lines, and showing the track on the device while in the field.

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AndrewSouthern
Occasional Contributor

I would look into using ESRI's Workforce app.  I have, over the last few days, been experimenting with it in regards to tracking where field workers have been and have found it to be much more reliable for that task than Collector.  You can also set Workforce to use Collector as well so if your field worker needs to collect data they push a "Collect Here" button and it launches Collector and the corresponding web map that you set up in the Workforce project settings.  It's really a nice way to organize a field collection project with multiple users, from what I can tell.  Survey123 can also be incorporated into the Workforce project (as well as Navigator, however we do not have licenses for it so I can't speak to how well it works.)

The only drawback that I have found so far is that ESRI stopped developing the Workforce app for Windows based devices due, presumably, to lack of interest as iOS and Android largely dominate mobile technology.  For our organization, we use a lot of Toughbook MDTs in our emergency response vehicles and they are all Windows 10 based. 

However, for our needs, we can still run Collector on those MDTs and since they are docked in the trucks it's not that big of a deal because it's always on a power supply while docked and therefore the app can run continuously (and collect locations continuously.)  The way that I have our test project set up is that I created a Collector web map that uses the same web feature service for tracking that is created by Workforce when the project is initially developed.  Therefore, when I view the tracking layer in the Workforce dispatcher map I am able to see the locations of those using Workforce (users who have access to iOS or Android devices) as well as our first responders who use Collector only on the Windows 10 based MDTs that are continuously active.

Not exactly an ideal setup, particularly because with the location data collected using Collector does not give you the option to see the worker's most recent "check in," at least not out of the box (I'm sure it could be accomplished using a custom expression for symbology,) but is at least a way to get around the problem of Workforce not being available for Windows yet still being able to effectively track field worker locations using a combination of Workforce and Collector.