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Offline Map Area Expiry Date/Timeframe

964
1
04-18-2021 06:42 PM
Status: Open
LindsayRaabe_FPCWA
Regular Contributor II

Background: After using Collector Classic, Collector and now Field Maps for quite a while, of all the technical support requests we get in the GIS team from our Field Staff who are working with offline areas, the majority tend to be solved by removing an offline area that they have had on their device for an extended period of time and downloading a new offline area.

Over time, small changes and tweaks to maps and feature services (and sometimes ever where no discernable changes have occured) can result in long-held offline areas no-longer matching the online environment 100%. Unfortunately, users don't become aware of this until they try and save a feature and instead get an "Unable to save" type error. This may occur in one layer, but not another layer. Despite myself and my colleagues telling people they need to regularly remove offline areas and start "fresh" with a new copy, especially if they haven't used an offline area in a while, it falls on deaf ears or just isn't thought about. 

My proposal: Include the option at an organisational level to include an expiry timeframe for offline areas. For example, I set in the org settings an offline time limit of 90 days. Any offline area taken will automatically expire and be removed after 90 days. Warnings could be "pushed" to users devices or email address (automatically) annoucing when an offline area is X days from expiring. Offline areas with features yet-to-be syncronised could be set (org level) to either sync automatically prior to expiry, prompt user to sync/discard and then the offline area expires, or discarded automatically upon expiry. 

Bonus Functionality: An org setting that enables the automatic background renewal of offline areas upon expiry (remove it and redownload using the same settings in the background) with the option to occur only when connected to Wi-Fi or Cellular data (are data caps really an issue anymore?). 

Upvote away people 😉

1 Comment
amyw
by

@LindsayRaabe_FPCWA 

I fully support this idea!  I find that fieldworkers (staff) revert to a workflow where they can re-use old offline areas (similar to avenza pdfmaps) and they forget that it's a disconnected copy of a database.  We are being asked to share tools to broader to partner agencies to improve data consistency and monitoring standards.  I don't feel we have the education piece covered for offline area use internally yet. Thus, I do not have that comfort sharing web maps and offline areas with extended partner agencies using field maps in places with limited network coverage.  This idea to set reminders and delete protocols for offline areas would definitely raise my comfort with extending the resource to support a broader client base.