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Location Sharing

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08-16-2023 01:24 PM
ScottSweet
New Contributor II

What ESRI has done for data collection in the field is the most regressive thing I’ve seen in GIS for the past 20 years.  I need to go into the field myself, record where I’ve been walking/driving and collect point features at the same time. That should not be a difficult task to accomplish, but ESRI has made this a multi-step process involving different licenses, different settings to enable the functionality, more processing in the office to get those track features onto a map, etc.  This is a huge step backwards for ESRI when it comes to collecting data in the field.  As the GIS Professional/Administrator, if I wanted to use the ESRI environment we paid for, which I do, I would have to take up two licenses because I have to assign myself a Field Worker license to record tracks in order to do any field work myself.  At this point it would be easier to take a garmin etrex out in the field, record my tracks and waypoints and then bring them back into the office to put on a map the way I did with ArcGIS 3.2 back in 1999. Does anyone have a better workflow for this than going through the trouble of setting up the location sharing feature to record tacks and then getting those tracks from ArcGIS Online into a geodatabase?  I thought it would be easy to record a track while also recording points but in Field Maps you can only do one or the other, not both. 

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AndreasHall
Esri Contributor

You may want to look into ArcGIS QuickCapture, it might be a better fit for your workflow. In QuickCapture you can capture points at the same time as you are capturing a line. 

Field Data Capture & GIS Data Collection App | ArcGIS QuickCapture (esri.com)

ArcGIS QuickCapture Q&A from the Esri UC 2020 - Esri Community

"Can I capture a point observation while a line button is active? Yes. You can in fact capture multiple lines at the same time and while they are active, you can capture additional points.  This is known as nested field data capture. Say for example you want to map the condition of pedestrian trails within a park as well as park furniture. You can activate the Trail in Good Condition button to capture a line as you walk, and capture benches and other park furniture as you go."

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SarahSaint-Ruth
Esri Contributor

Hi @ScottSweet 

Thanks for the feedback. The change was made to location sharing so it was a capability that could scale across the system and provide updates simultaneously to the office. I appreciate this had added additional set up and in some cases licensing. The above post recommending nested field data collection is something we are considering for ArcGIS Field Maps. Is this the workflow you need as in capturing a feature as a line whilst capturing other observations? Or is it you would like to leverage location sharing with your current licensing - assuming you are using GIS Professional User Type?

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10 Replies
AndreasHall
Esri Contributor

You may want to look into ArcGIS QuickCapture, it might be a better fit for your workflow. In QuickCapture you can capture points at the same time as you are capturing a line. 

Field Data Capture & GIS Data Collection App | ArcGIS QuickCapture (esri.com)

ArcGIS QuickCapture Q&A from the Esri UC 2020 - Esri Community

"Can I capture a point observation while a line button is active? Yes. You can in fact capture multiple lines at the same time and while they are active, you can capture additional points.  This is known as nested field data capture. Say for example you want to map the condition of pedestrian trails within a park as well as park furniture. You can activate the Trail in Good Condition button to capture a line as you walk, and capture benches and other park furniture as you go."

SarahSaint-Ruth
Esri Contributor

Hi @ScottSweet 

Thanks for the feedback. The change was made to location sharing so it was a capability that could scale across the system and provide updates simultaneously to the office. I appreciate this had added additional set up and in some cases licensing. The above post recommending nested field data collection is something we are considering for ArcGIS Field Maps. Is this the workflow you need as in capturing a feature as a line whilst capturing other observations? Or is it you would like to leverage location sharing with your current licensing - assuming you are using GIS Professional User Type?

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ScottSweet
New Contributor II

Thank you for the clarification SarahSaint-Ruth.  Yes, I was looking for nested field data collection but I found ESRI's environment extremely user-unfriendly.  In order to make it work in the Field Maps App was to remove a license from one of our field workers and assign it to myself.  I also had to find a way to enable the functionality through a lot of wasted time searching through help documents, on youtube and in this community.  I have collected tracks/points in the field since 1996 and the way ESRI has done it now is more cumbersome than even when I had to post process my GPS data because of selective availability.  My final solution was to use QField and/or MapIt apps which work flawlessly.  So yes, the nested field data collection capability, without having to shuffle licenses around would bring ESRI back on par with simple open source solutions.  I also looked into quick capture, and that has potential, but there is still a lot setup online and using the app in the field only allowed me to see big buttons to click on for individual feature collection.  I could not see those points on a background map or watch the tracks all in one screen.  I understand the idea of making things available immediately through ArcGIS Online, but for regular field data collection, that system is way to bloated and not so user friendly.  Its much easier to use Qfield and push my data from phone to PC using Google Cloud.  Thank you again for the answer.

SarahSaint-Ruth
Esri Contributor

Sorry to hear of your experience and thank you for taking the time to detail that and your needs. I've added your use case to our requirement around supporting nested data collection.

LindsayRaabe_FPCWA
Regular Contributor II

As a GIS Professional and org admin, I too wish I could utilise the Location Tracking options in Field Maps, as part of my role does involve field work and fire work - we don't have a lot of room for handing out multiple licenses to users to facilitate both Mobile Work capabilities and Admin responsibilities.  It seems illogical that a GIS Professional isn't considered equal to a Mobile Work in terms of capabilities in the mobile app. I find it hard to believe this isn't a commonplace situation. 

Lindsay Raabe
GIS Officer
Forest Products Commission WA
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AndreasHall
Esri Contributor

This is a misunderstanding. The GIS Professional user type license has all the capabilities that the Mobile Worker user type license has.

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LindsayRaabe_FPCWA
Regular Contributor II

So then why would I not be able to see Location Sharing as an option in Field Maps? My user account is set to Creator - Administrator. 

LindsayRaabe_FPCWA_0-1700203978099.png

 

 

Lindsay Raabe
GIS Officer
Forest Products Commission WA
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AndreasHall
Esri Contributor

Yes, you are right. The misunderstanding is on me. A GIS Professional user type needs the ArcGIS Location Sharing add on license to be able to use location sharing. I would agree that this is not in line with the general expectation that a GIS Professional user type is equal in capabilities with lower user types.

To enable location sharing, your organization must first purchase ArcGIS Location Sharing licenses. This license is included in the Mobile Worker user type and is available as an add-on for all other user types.
Enable location sharing—ArcGIS Online Help | Documentation

LindsayRaabe_FPCWA
Regular Contributor II

Glad I'm not going nuts! Any suggestions on who we should contact to "petition" that this be a standard inclusion? I don't believe it needs to be available for all user types, but definitely should be for anything "above" mobile worker. That shouldn't preclude the ability to select a purely "office-bound" role from existing as I'm sure that is a legitimate option for many. 

Lindsay Raabe
GIS Officer
Forest Products Commission WA