ArcPad 10 First impressions?

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07-01-2010 07:24 AM
Almarde_Ronde
New Contributor
Just wondering what kind of first impressions the forum has on ArcPad 10. I just installed the demo under WM 6 and I can't really acknowledge the "improved performance" with respect to Arcpad 8. Arcpad 7.1.1 still beats both newer versions hands down to my opinion when it comes down to drawing performance. I don't understand why the newer versions needs to slower, the functionality has practically remained the same.
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6 Replies
ZoltanKovacs1
New Contributor
Hi,

Which screen resolution do you have on your PDA? If you have VGA or better, you should try the HQ patch for AP 7 or 8 (I think there won't be any for AP 10 beta), which improves the (re)draw speed.

(Anyway, you are not alone with the new GUI. I'm not satisfied either - I dislike the microscopic Lock button in the top right corner...:))


Zoltan
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Almarde_Ronde
New Contributor
We are working with Trimble Nomad, so you would expect that the ArcPad software would at least work satisfactory on those kind of devices (see the ArcPad advertisements..). I just notice that when you have lots of lines drawings like topographical features, AP 7.1.1 just draws them faster then AP 8 or 10. Yes, the interface of 8/10 looks much better, cleaner and the lines are less coarse then in 7.  But the slowness kills the user experience (which is what determines if someone will work with it or not): you want to record your data on the device and walk away, not stand around and wait for data to show. In terms of imagery, I have used both uncompressed tiffs (as recommended by the ArcPad team), jpgs and MrSid, ArcPad 7 also draws these better then 8/10. I sometimes wonder if the software is actually tested on Windows Mobile 6 itself, which I suspect is the dominant platform people will still use ArcPad on?
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StephenQuan
Occasional Contributor
One of the goals in ArcPad 10 was to reduce the waiting time in daily workflow activity. You can pan/zoom/capture points without needing to wait for the map to completely draw.

I mention in another post, there's this need QuickDraw tool (the rocket shaped icon on the end of the 2nd toolbar) which can be configured to help your workflow by further reducing the time and resources needed in drawing.
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Almarde_Ronde
New Contributor
One of the goals in ArcPad 10 was to reduce the waiting time in daily workflow activity. You can pan/zoom/capture points without needing to wait for the map to completely draw.


That is a strange argument. Imo taking to above approach is basically reducing ArcPad and the device it is on to a standard GPS. Isn't the strength of Arcpad that you have GIS data with you in the field? How can you pan or zoom to something if you can't see whereto? And capturing a point is fine is you just take a GPS fix for granted. But what if you want to compare your GPS location with features on the map before capturing a point? You need to wait for the map to draw.

I mention in another post, there's this need QuickDraw tool (the rocket shaped icon on the end of the 2nd toolbar) which can be configured to help your workflow by further reducing the time and resources needed in drawing.


Yes I tried the rocket tool, and I can see how you can have a faster map by pixelating. I attached a picture to show what happens though; the person that would use the map in the picture wouldn't be able to distinguish a river from snow or a topographic line because colors were removed?

I am afraid that I need more convincing that ArcPad 10 is better than ArcPad 7.1.1.
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Almarde_Ronde
New Contributor
So the people over at RIA Mobile GIS did some performance testing on the different versions 7-10. You can see the results here:

http://riamobilegis.blogspot.com/2010/07/arcpad-drawing-times.html

The tests they performed were on a virtual machine, running Windows XP (3GHz processor, 768Mb RAM). ArcPad 10 appears to be the overal winner. Hopefully they can test this on Windows Mobile as well.
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StephenQuan
Occasional Contributor
Hi almarderonde, I'm trying to justify some of the measures that were taken in ArcPad 10 and, if you feel that ArcPad 7.1.1 is the better product then, you're entitled to that observation. I know that so much effort was done in making ArcPad 10 a much improved product over previous releases of ArcPad including ArcPad 7.1.1. In the area of drawing, a lot of effort was spent in reducing the memory consumption, improve the responsiveness, implement concurrent progressive drawing and to address bugs such as flickering. But, certaintly, that's not to say that you have data or a project where you find ArcPad 7.1.1 more suitable than ArcPad 10. That's your call, and as a general rule, I'd recommend users be more informed about the product before making a commitment.

As to the QuickDraw tool and its behavior, it is fully configurable. In the Table of Contents, you can control whether skeleton symbology, full skeleton and visibility by modifying the QuickDraw column for every layer. You can control the pixelation / coarseness via Advance Settings > Display Quality. The goal of the QuickDraw tool is to provide an alternative way to draw your data which could consider using in certain circumstances, i.e. on devices with low free memory.
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