Cannot not edit/add map library folder

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04-15-2021 07:12 PM
by Anonymous User
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According to this documentation, in the section about using a map package from external storage, I should be able to go into Settings --> Map, and then add/edit the folder for the Map Library. However when I go there, it seems to only be read only. I'm on IOS and I cannot browse or type or anything in the space.  It just shows the default path (~/ArcGIS/My Surveys/Maps).  I am trying to add a path to a folder where the package is already stored (for Explorer) so that I can use it for offline.  

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Philip-Wilson
Esri Notable Contributor

Hi @Anonymous User,

This is the expected behaviour on both iOS and Android, the Map Library folder path input box is read only and can not be changed due to OS level restrictions. Both of these OS's do not allow accessing files from another apps data folders or common data folders on the device for security reasons. For iOS, this has always been the case, for Android, it is a security enhancement they introduced earlier this year, and now affects Survey123 3.12 and above.

If you want to use an offline map package on iOS and Android, you will need to manually copy the file to the designated Map Library folder. This can be done via the Files app on iOS, or File browser on Android, or if connected to a computer, via the appropriate software such as Finder, iTunes or Windows Explorer that allow you to navigate the folder and files on the connected device.

Please refer to this section in the documentation: https://doc.arcgis.com/en/survey123/desktop/create-surveys/preparebasemaps.htm#ESRI_SECTION1_2AE91E3EDB004B61905B1B7E7D0A6431

If you are using Windows, macOS or Linux, you can still access map packages from any folder or external SD card or drive, as the same security restrictions do not apply on these devices.

Regards,

Phil.

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Philip-Wilson
Esri Notable Contributor

Hi @AnthonyJones5,

Yes you are correct, it is not possible to download a map package in Field Maps or any other app and browse to it on Android and use it in Survey123. With recent versions of Android, we now have to target a higher API version when updating apps in the Google Play Store (for Android 11 and above), and it is not possible to browse and use files stored in another location on the device. Android has restricted this for security reasons. Therefore the map package must be in the internal or SD card default locations set for the app storage. This is either:

Android/data/com.esri.survey123/files/ArcGIS/My Surveys/Maps

or

SD CARD/Android/data/com.esri.survey123/files

I agree the online documentation is a little confusing around this, so we will update it for the 3.14 release to be more clear about what you can and can't do on Android.

Prepare basemaps for offline use—ArcGIS Survey123 | Documentation

Regards,

Phil.

View solution in original post

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6 Replies
Philip-Wilson
Esri Notable Contributor

Hi @Anonymous User,

This is the expected behaviour on both iOS and Android, the Map Library folder path input box is read only and can not be changed due to OS level restrictions. Both of these OS's do not allow accessing files from another apps data folders or common data folders on the device for security reasons. For iOS, this has always been the case, for Android, it is a security enhancement they introduced earlier this year, and now affects Survey123 3.12 and above.

If you want to use an offline map package on iOS and Android, you will need to manually copy the file to the designated Map Library folder. This can be done via the Files app on iOS, or File browser on Android, or if connected to a computer, via the appropriate software such as Finder, iTunes or Windows Explorer that allow you to navigate the folder and files on the connected device.

Please refer to this section in the documentation: https://doc.arcgis.com/en/survey123/desktop/create-surveys/preparebasemaps.htm#ESRI_SECTION1_2AE91E3EDB004B61905B1B7E7D0A6431

If you are using Windows, macOS or Linux, you can still access map packages from any folder or external SD card or drive, as the same security restrictions do not apply on these devices.

Regards,

Phil.

AnthonyJones5
Occasional Contributor

Hi Phil,

I'm using android devices and have come across this issue myself. I assume then that the line in the documentation that says; 

"You can add additional paths by doing either of the following:

  • Type the additional path in the text box (use a semicolon to separate paths).
  • Use the folder browser to select an additional path. Any path you select is appended to your map library folder."

is not valid for Android either?

I was just looking into ways of allowing our users to create their own tile or map packages for use in S123 as they will be using the form on multiple projects and I was trying to eliminate the need for them to ask the GIS team for a map package each time they work on a new project. My thought was that they could potentially download a tile package using Field Maps and then access that tile package in S123 by changing the folder to the Field Maps one. Do you know if there are any plans to allow S123 and Field Maps to share map and tile packages or are the security restrictions in iOS and Android likely to prohibit that?

Thanks

Anthony 

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Philip-Wilson
Esri Notable Contributor

Hi @AnthonyJones5,

Yes you are correct, it is not possible to download a map package in Field Maps or any other app and browse to it on Android and use it in Survey123. With recent versions of Android, we now have to target a higher API version when updating apps in the Google Play Store (for Android 11 and above), and it is not possible to browse and use files stored in another location on the device. Android has restricted this for security reasons. Therefore the map package must be in the internal or SD card default locations set for the app storage. This is either:

Android/data/com.esri.survey123/files/ArcGIS/My Surveys/Maps

or

SD CARD/Android/data/com.esri.survey123/files

I agree the online documentation is a little confusing around this, so we will update it for the 3.14 release to be more clear about what you can and can't do on Android.

Prepare basemaps for offline use—ArcGIS Survey123 | Documentation

Regards,

Phil.

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AnthonyJones5
Occasional Contributor

Thanks for the prompt reply Phil, it's much appreciated.

Do you know if there are any plans to allow users to download new map or tile packages in the S123 app similar to the way you can download a new tile package in Field Maps? This would remove the need to create ready made map packages, which can be problematic for surveys that are designed to be used nationally across multiple projects. Thanks

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Philip-Wilson
Esri Notable Contributor

Hi @AnthonyJones5,

We have this on our roadmap for a future enhancement, but there is currently no timeline or planned release to support it yet.

Regards,

Phil.

AnthonyJones5
Occasional Contributor

Good to know it's on the roadmap as it would be a very useful feature. Thanks for taking the time to respond Phil, it's much appreciated.

Kind Regards

Anthony