Ability to add "Sketch Layer" to Field Maps

11-15-2022 05:17 AM
Status: Open
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Occasional Contributor II

It is currently very easy to add a sketch layer to Webmaps in ArcGIS Online. It would be amazing if we could have the same functionality so that users in the field can add sketches and notes on top the map they are capturing data against in Field Maps.

Quite often they notice things that they would like to annotate which doesn't fall in the remit of the of map or form they are using, and they currently either:

1) record that information in a free text field that it doesn't belong in...or
2) take a screenshot of the map and annotate it in a different app, which then requires us to georeference that image to utilise what they've done.


If Field Maps is ever to fully replace paper maps in the field, then having the ability to sketch/write additional information on the map face, outside of the remit of a form (that was designed before they got to the field) is essential.

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@RichardHowe have you ever used the Markup feature? We have a lot of field users that felt the same way when switching from paper maps and they have found it super useful. You can even share the markup layer with other users, and create multiple markup layers for different uses. We can then take that information, and add it to our database. Here is more information: https://doc.arcgis.com/en/field-maps/ios/help/markup.htm


Yeah, that kind of functionality seems to replicate the sketch, with the unhelpful feature of not being associated with the map that you're marking up. For the most part our Field Maps users are not particularly ESRI-savvy and just want a simple way to do this. I agree the usability of markup is great once you've added it, but the need to share or share to AGOL is an extra step they could do without. Just having a default sketch layer that they can edit and will live with that map and sync back to the webmap would be the ideal scenario


Markups are okay at best, the big issue I see with them is that they share in a format that no one knows how to use. I had to dig through a dozen pages of ESRI help documents to find that if you share it from your device you might be able to use it in ArcGIS Pro 2.0+, but you also may have to share it to AGOL and then use it from there.

Rather unclear.

They are also very... volatile? I've found it is extremely easy to accidentally delete a feature you added in markup, and to clear the entire collection as well. Something a bit more stable, and with a more usable exportable file would be great. We have some mapping products for the public (IE, will use Field Maps as a viewer without an account) and they are used to being able to collect a bit of data on top of them with our former software CarryMap, and export it as a KMZ, GPX, or SHP for use in anything else.


Having not tested it fully before, I just created a markup file, emailed it to myself, and tried adding it to Pro 2.9.5.


So there's no easy way that I see for members of the public to download our public maps without a sign in, collect information (garbage dumped on public land, artifact found, emergency location) and share it for us to respond to quickly.