Enable freehand polygon drawing

03-19-2021 12:25 PM
Status: Open
New Contributor II

It would be very useful to be able to draw polygons freehand (like you can in ArcGIS Pro), instead of by adding individual vertices. This would be especially useful when creating polygons that are rounded and require many vertices to properly draw. 


Great idea!!!


Please add freehand line drawing too!! I'm working with folks that are converting from ArcPad to Field Maps and they could draw freehand lines in ArcPad and now I have to tell them you need to add vertex by vertex in technology 16 years later. The users have apple pencils is there any additional functionality they can use now with the apple pencil and current Field Maps line drawing?


Also isn't GeoTrace and geoshape available in Survey123 the form app that would allow the freehand drawing for lines and polygons? Why isn't this available in Field Maps?

Thanks for your consideration! I have folks excited to use the new apps and then have to break the bad news on limited functionality compared to what they have set up in ArcPad.



Related to this, Classic Collector for Android had a much easier method for adding each vertex than the target circle system used in the iphone version. My team used iphones mostly, so they relied on me to enter polygons on my Android phone because it was so much quicker and easier.

Now the new Collector version and the Field Maps changed to the target method for Android phones. Much more time-consuming and clunky to use. Please go back to the simple touch to add or drag a point method that was used earlier.



This is the main reason why I still have to use ArcPad 10. Freehand polygon data capture is integral to conducting forest health aerial surveys. Capturing areas of defoliation or tree mortality, one vertice at a time, is a ridiculous notion. Am I missing something? Are there any ESRI field apps that have this functionality anymore, plus work offline in remote areas?


We are an ecological consultancy where a significant part of our workflows involve digitising detailed vegetation polygons based on a combination of field observation and high resolution aerial imagery. Our botanists usually digitise the polygons in the field using Collector, but all of them have reported this is slower and more cumbersome using the point on target method in Field Maps.

As fieldwork usually needs to be completed within tight timeframes, any loss of productivity in the field has significant knock on effects. We also do rapid field collection of individual flora and fauna observations. It is much more important for our field staff to be able to make a quick estimation of the location by touching on a map than to get a precise location as often hundreds of observations are made in a day.

While the Collector Classic method of capturing polygons is preferable to the Field Maps method, it is not ideal as features that should have coincident boundaries need to have overlaps and gaps tidied up and rough edges smoothed out post fieldwork. This is a time consuming process for our GIS staff.

Having the ability to freehand draw polygons like the markup in Field Maps using a stylus but with the auto-complete function available in the webapp builder edit widget to capture geometry into polygon layers would be ideal for us. It'd also be useful to have the ability to switch between the different methods of capture.

We exclusively use Android tablets for data capture. We are in the process of updating the majority of our devices to the Samsung Galaxy SM-P610 model.

It would be really helpful if some information could be provided on esri's current thinking on this, if similar changes have been considered for future Field Maps updated and a rough estimate of timeframes if they are.