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How do I preserve historical data using Collector?

Question asked by mlhotz on Aug 29, 2016
Latest reply on Sep 1, 2016 by mlhotz

We have a point feature class that we're planning to update and manage using both Collector and ArcGIS Online (soon to be Portal).  We will be measuring noise levels at each point over time.  At this stage all we are aiming to do is update the attributes (date and dB).  The concept works well; however, we will also need to revisit each of these points to collect more data annually.  We would also like to compare each newly collected data with the data collected in the previous year(s).


If we just collect data each time using the current feature class we will be overwriting the data that was collected the previous time.  Is there a way to simply add data collected each time without overwriting the previously collected data?


The only way seem to be able to resolve this is to add new fields to this particular feature class before the technician goes out into the field to collect data each year; hence, they will be updating a new field annually, and not one containing actual historical data...and we then just keep adding new fields each year.


Another option might be to build a separate Collector App for each period of collection, and then extract the data using ArcGIS Desktop, add a new field to our feature class in our geodatabase, and then join/relate the new field to the existing table, but that doesn't seem that much different than the previous idea (it's still adding a new field).


Or we could add a new point every time on top of the previous point, but with the same ID, but this (I feel) is not really following best practices and could lead to a lot of confusion in the future.


Does anyone know if I'm missing another option?  Or does it perhaps sound like I'm trying to invent a temporal GIS?