Laser Rangefinder Direct Integration with ESRI Field Maps

10-05-2021 10:12 AM
Status: Under Consideration
Labels (2)
New Contributor II

Please allow direct laser rangefinder integration in Field Maps.  ArcPad used to have direct integration with rangefinders and the workflow worked extremely well.  If I have a Trimble GPS receiver and a TruPulse Laser Rangefinder, it is not possible to use the workflow that worked seamlessly in ArcPad with its replacement, Field Maps.  There is a 3rd party app that requires use of their hardware for this workflow, but it would be good for ESRI to offer direct integration again.  There are several reasons this is important.  Mapping with laser offset functionality can sharply improve safety, especially when working in and around hazardous areas such as mines.  The functionality should be universal and part of the ESRI core (It was in ArcPad, but got dropped with the development of Collector and Field Maps).  It should not require the use of 3rd party apps, 3rd party app development and support, and specific GPS receiver brands.  It should not be limited to iOS devices.  There are Windows and Android users to consider as well.


Definitely! It's crazy that we had more functionality and support for hardware in 2006 than we do now.

They should support thirdparty hardware in general including rangefinders and total stations using relative positioning (distance and direction -- is that COGO?).



Please ESRI, we used this ALL THE TIME for data collection in forested environments with ArcPAD. It's a major loss in Collector/Field Maps. Based on the ESRI help files, I thought I had a solution with the new EOS Bridge, but come to find out it only works when ALSO using an EOS GPS receiver. This should be basic functionality for any equipment manufacturer as it was in ArcPAD.

Hi Aaron, thanks for your feedback on this. It was really unfortunate for
me after purchasing a Windows tablet, TruePulseLaser, and Trimble R1
receiver only to find that none could be used with ESRI's Field Maps. The
fact that only EOS has addressed laser integration and that it ends up
being proprietary is interesting. I have a bunch of clients that want/need
a simple ArcPad type solution, but cannot deliver on this.

We totally need this! Our R2 Trimble GPS solution works great but as a municipality, we also need to have accurate locations for pieces of emergency infrastructure like emergency shut-off valves, or pieces of infrastructure that are inaccessible (parked car over a manhole), utility infrastructure on an easement in private property.

When these objects are on the south side of buildings or in open areas; our GPS is excellent. Other conditions not so much.

A laser range finder solves all of this, if it can blue tooth to our device and spit out an output, I'm not sure what the issue is that would preclude us from utilizing it in Field Maps.


I hear there are going to be some useful Survey123 developments for TruPulse rangefinder support in the very near future.

Yes, the Survey123 development team responded to this with interest. I
heard they were working on it, but have been slow due to the complexity of
the device types and data strings to allow for this integration. I have
never gotten a response from Field Maps development. They do not seem
interested in laser integration. To use Field Maps and a laser offset, you
will need to use EOS GNSS receivers, EOS Laser App for iOS, and TruePulse.
I am currently testing a 360R with an Arrow 100+ receiver that is supposed
to bluetooth with the laser. The 360R laser is not compatible with iOS,
but this is a brand new option.

The Field Maps app configuration settings suggest that there are currently (version 22.1.0) three supported options for laser range finders (or offsetProvider): Bad Elf Flex, Eos Tools Pro, and Spike.

I've successfully used the LTI 360B and 360R with the Bad Elf Flex (documentation) on both iOS and Android. I've also used a Spike (documentation) with a variety of GNSS receivers (Spike's list of tested receivers includes: Trimble R1, Bad Elf, Eos Arrow and Juniper Geode); Spike is iOS only.


The new developments should allow direct TruPulse BT connection to the Survey123 device and use the device's in-built GNSS (only Android for now). Of course to get sub-metre accuracy using a standard Android device you'll still need a high-end receiver connected. 

Status changed to: Under Consideration

It would be fantastic if this could be implemented with an option for a generic bearing and distance entry.  We currently use the Bad Elf Flex with a paired Truepulse 360 for higher-precision offset data collection, but in a lot of cases another instrument can be used to quickly determine the bering and distance for entry into Field Maps.