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Automatically generating unique sample numbers in the field

01-28-2014 08:35 AM
New Contributor
My group (6-8 geologists) collects data in the field using handheld computers running ArcGIS for Mobile, synchronized with a file geodatabase each evening.
Each data point is given a unique ID number, and any samples associated with that point are linked to it using this ID. We currently type the ID numbers in by hand, and we make quite a few typos which cause problems for us down the road (for example, collecting two different data points and giving them the same unique ID number).
The unique ID needs to be known in the field so that samples can be labeled appropriately. The current scheme is alphanumeric, e.g. 14ET001 (the year, the geologist's initials, the sequential data point number) but it doesn't have to be that way necessarily.
Seems like others would have encountered this same issue. Is there a way to make our unique ID field auto-populate with the next number in the sequence? Is there a way to warn or prevent people from recording the same unique ID twice?
Is this something that the current version of ArcGIS/ArcGIS for Mobile can do? Any ideas for workarounds?
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