Thoughts on Collector for ArcGIS?

04-26-2023 12:08 AM
New Contributor

Been using it for a while, though I feel when you forget to toggle a few options (like sync), include a shape file in the web map, etc. the whole thing can crumble very quickly. Is your company adopting it? How it all going, are users lining up to use it? Would be interested to see anyone using anything else for field collection....

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MVP Regular Contributor

ArcGIS Collector is retired. Use ArcGIS Field Maps.

Field Maps is very similar to Collector. We use it heavily and it's generally quite good. I find that most of the issues I have seen with Collector/Field come from the approach. I would recommend treating it more like an application development than a spatial map design. i.e:

  • Have a discovery, build, test and launch phase.
  • Avoid changes to the schema/tables
  • Optimize the layers and the maps for data collection. Less layers, fields, better service types etc
  • Pre-generate or sidemount basemaps
  • Project your data to web mercator prior to publish
  • Don't push the cutting edge of functionality unless necessary (i.e. Arcade expressions, new form design elements). Keep it simple across the board

Where things tend to go really wrong is when a bunch of layers are thrown in the map, launched, and then a number of changes continue to occur while the best practices are put behind.

Source: former Esri tech support, field data collection specialist.

There are lots of competitors. Some have select advantages, but I prefer Esri for two reasons. One, it is more accessible. Two, easy to leverage the data collected through ArcGIS Online/Enterprise. Don't forget this part when designing your data and building your maps for Field Maps.

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