Enable touch to enter vertices

04-06-2021 09:13 AM
Status: Open
New Contributor II

The circle target system for entering points is cumbersome. Can you add a simple touch-to-enter vertex option? The Collector Classic for Android has the system that is optimal.

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.



Tags (2)

I second this. In my previous job mapping vegetation we avoided Collector Aurora for this exact reason. It doubled the actions needed and therefore time needed to draw a polygon feature. For example if you want to create an 8 vertex polygon in classic you touch the screen 8 times (once per vertex) while with Collector  Aurora and now Field Maps that same polygon requires at least 16 screen touches/actions (touch and pan the map to the cross hair and then press the ad vertex button). Not a big deal for small simple polygons or a low number of polygons, but with large complex polygons (natural features) or drawing a large number (50-100+) lines/polys this significantly hampers work efficiency and slows down data collection. On top of the drag on efficiency I could also see it leading to greater chances of drawing errors as you are trying to position the vertex location by panning the map under the cross hair (like drawing by moving the paper rather than the pencil) and the moving your finger to the add vertex button slipping the map position. The cludgyness of this polygon/line entry system will also discourage field workers to collect accurate shapes in the field by using as few vertices as possible or fewer, bigger polygons thus reducing the accuracy of data collected in the field and requiring more data cleaning/refinement on the back end in the office. This pan and add button system is ok at best for point features, but is trash for polys and lines. It is a significant step backwards in the functionality of mobile GIS data collection. If I were in my previous position today I would choose a different method of mapping vegetation populations over Field Maps. Possibly even opting to print aerial images of the area of interest and draw on them with markers and then digitize in the office, the way it was done before Collector Classic was a viable option. Which btw Collector Classic significantly improved the efficiency of the job and reduced data processing time by days to weeks and allowed my former organization to basically double the amount of work done in a season without increasing the number of people working on the project. Huge cost savings. Field Maps and the death of Collector Classic (it won't sync with newer versions of Android) is going to be a huge set back for my former organization and for me personally, I am rethinking my approach to tryining to start a land management mapping consulting business by exploring other less costly options that do the same things (QField, Input, even Avenza) with the same data entry style or canning the business idea altogether. The touch to add vertex functionality was one of the major things that set ESRI's mobile GIS apart from the rest and yet y'all axed it. What gives? Thanks ESRI for actively making your product worse. 


I can only support this idea. I've had several complaints from our users about this new method when digitizing in Collector. It doesn't seem intuitive, and I really can't see the benefits of it?

So, as Lynn says: Please go back and use the old method in Field Maps


Great idea! The new way of adding vertices is cumbersome at best. I do wonder why on earth they changed the digitizing method. Nothing but complaints from our fieldworkers 😕


We also have a lot of complaints about this, mainly around vegetation mapping and rapid flora/fauna observations. When collecting hundreds of polygons and points in a single day, an additional button press for every point/vertex really adds up.


Dear ESRI,

I work for a nonprofit striving to amp up the pace and scale of forest restoration by modernizing and introducing technological efficiencies.  Much of my job entails digitally marking (drawing polygons) groups of trees on multiple landscape-scale projects (2000+ acres). Another aspect of my responsibilities include training operators and convincing USFS personnel that utilizing tablets is a more cost effective, flexible and improved system to the more traditional ways of prepping and marking timber sales (painting trees).  What Field Maps has done with the new polygon feature has essentially turned my job and the conservation mission of our organization, from a reasonable challenge into a nightmare.  It is not an embellishment to say that Field Maps (and ArcGIS Collector for that matter) is a hinderance to major conservation progress.  Could you please rectify this feature on Field Maps and return to Collector Classic's polygon attribute functionality? 

I will never need to be prompted to "Start Averaging [GPS points]" because I draw polygons over a canopy height model layer and do not depend on my GPS location.  Also, to reiterate, imagine trying to convince individuals (luddites in fact) who have worked in forestry for 30+ years and have just learned to embrace smart phones/tablet technology that Field Maps is an improvement to Collector Classic.  There are improvements indeed, but drawing polygons nullifies the usefulness of this field app. Everything mentioned in the comments above are on point.  Thank you for being receptive to feedback.  Please do the right thing.


We fully support this idea!

The switch in the concept for data entry between Collector classic and Collector/Fieldmaps is a big step in the wrong direction regarding line and polygon feature entry. It affects our work proces and efficiency so much that it forces us to seriously reconsider our solution for digital data collection. When changing to a complete different concept of data entry, you would expect the existing solution stays available as clients their work processes might depend on it... 




Agreed.  Being able to tap and add a vertex, or tap and move a vertex directly like in Collector is a much easier workflow and not having that flexibility in Field maps slows down the process.


This idea is basically the same as this one "Enable freehand polygon drawing".  

I fully support and our department would greatly benefit from being able to add vertices for a line using a stylus. The current method in Field Maps is really tedious. As I've mentioned in other posts a number of folks I work with are transitioning from ArcPad and they are so surprised/disappointed to see the new method in Field Maps. It is the wrong direction for newer Esri apps.

Please implement!!!


I fully support this suggestion. Our field workers have tried to work with this cross-hair but it is very time-consuming compared to normal touch-and-enter. We already accepted a lower accuracy (by entering less vertices) but still cannot complete our work within acceptable time limits. If this is not changed for the better we will be forced to abandon Collector/Field Maps for some other software, even if we have to develop it ourselves.


We support this suggestion too. Our field workers really, REALLY dislike the cross-hair and would appreciate another option. I know there is a lot of support for this kind of idea and that the cross-hair way of entering vertices is disliked by many others. I hope ESRI is hearing us -- please spread the word to your colleagues to up-vote and comment. 

There are other ideas that are similar to this one that others might want to follow (hint, hint):




Adding ESRI contact @PeterGamberg1 because we talked about this several weeks ago.