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Note regarding sideloading basemap .tpk to device.

08-01-2014 07:20 AM
Occasional Contributor

HI all,

After spending half a day with failure trying to get a topo basemap .tpk (tile package) to work on my device, I figured out that the simple .tif/.tfw files I was using didn't have a projection and would not show up on the device.  To add the projection, use Tool Box>Data Management>Projections and Transformations>Define Projection.  If you have a feature layer that already has the projection you want to use, you will be able to use that layer as the template projection.

NOTE: The whole Collector process to sending layers to ArcGIS Online, making them editable, sharing them, and sideloading basemaps is very difficult to learn.  I was fortunate to have help from ESRI and here is a first shot at this complicated process:

1) Open ArcMap.

2) Add the data that needs to be published to ArcGIS


3) Click on File > Sign In and login with the ArcGIS Online

for Organizations account.

4) Click on File > Share As.

5) The

share as service window appears , select the option to " Publish Service" and

click on Next.

6) Choose the connection as "My Hosted Services" and

provide a service name.

7) The Service Editor window will open up. Click

on Capabilities and check Feature Access and uncheck the Tiled


😎 Switch to the Parameters tab and increase the number of

features to more than 1000 if you plan on adding more than 1000


9) Switch to the Feature Access tab and check the option for

"Create", "Delete", "Query" , "Sync" and "Update".

10) Switch to the Item

Description tab fill in the Summary, tags and the description fields.


Switch to the Sharing tab and select the groups with whom you wish to share the


12). Click on analyze to look for any high or critical errors ,

click on preview to preview the service , then click on publish.

Now ,

once the service is in ArcGIS Online , we would need to add this to a webmap

like we add shapefiles to an mxd.

13). Click on the dropdown button

besides the feature service we just uploaded and click on add to new map.

14). Save this webmap by clicking on save , go to your my contents and

click on the dropdown button besides the webmap and click on item


15). Make sure that the offline editing capability is enabled on

the webmap, If not  click on edit and check that option.

Now enabling

offline editing on a webmap which has sync enabled feature services would allow

the webmap to be listed in your Collector for ArcGIS Online app. In the

collector app we used the following steps to download a local copy of the webmap

for editing.

1). Launch the collector app on your device.


Click on the webmap and then click on download.

3). Select an area of

interest and download the webmap.

4). Now open the webmap and add new


As you add new features and sync them back, the original webmap

on ArcGIS Online would also reflect those changes.  Please note here that once

the map is downloaded the area of interest cannot be changed , you would have to

delete the map and then download it again for making changes to the area of


Following is a video I made for the above workflow , which you

can keep as reference :


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3 Replies
Frequent Contributor II


You have provided a good workflow for enabling your own feature service to work with collector, but you have not described the process of side loading a tpk as the discussion title suggests. A blog on achieving this can be found here:

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

it may also be worth tagging your post so others can search for it easier



Occasional Contributor


I don't know how to reedit the first post and put tags on it.  Oops, I think I found it if I can get it to open.

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Occasional Contributor

Additional comment about the sideloaded imagery resolution.  When you first bring in an image to ArcGIS you have the option of how to show the image using nearest-neighbor or bilinear whatever.  To me the bilinear looks a lot better than the pixilated nearest-neighbor option whenever you zoom in.  When you generate the tile package all it will give you is the nearest neighbor pixilated imagery even if you had picked the bilinear option on the desktop.

Is this in fact a limitation of Collector and the tile package generator on the Desktop?  I can generate good bilinear imagery using File>export map on the desktop that I use on ArcPad, but it seems I am stuck with unsatisfactory imagery for Collector.