My Experience Managing/Conducting a Large Offline Collection

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04-18-2023 07:28 AM
by Anonymous User
Not applicable

Over the next few weeks...

...my organization will be utilizing ArcGIS Field Maps to perform a large collection activity in a mostly offline capacity. I wanted to start this board to document my experience from start to finish to not only highlight some of the strengths and weaknesses of the application, but to also maybe help other organizations trying to do a similar thing.

Details and caveats:

  • This is a large-scale collection involves collecting/reviewing thousands of records with data types from points, lines, polygons, and various attachments.
  • The collection will be done completely offline with the exception of nightly syncs. As a result, several offline areas will be generated.
  • The collection would utilize Samsung phones and tablets.
  • The original data is stored and managed in an on-premises ArcGIS Enterprise Portal.
  • This data also uses ArcGIS Indoors' floor aware maps and makes use of the floor picker.

I will attempt to post regular updates outlining specific workflows and challenges faced, including what workarounds we came up with. I hope that someone can find this information useful, as I know there doesn't seem like much out there on the web.

If you have any questions feel free to reach out and I will try to help where I can.

 

(also if there is a better place to post this, let me know)

3 Comments
by Anonymous User

Alright...

I am going to do a lot of background posts, but there is no place to start like the present.

Today (and the last few days really) we are nearing the deadline for having all of our equipment ready for the collection, the last thing we need to do is get the Offline Areas on to the device.

Offline Areas. For as long as I have been using this app they have been the bane of my existence. They are always to finicky, downloading easily for some people while not at all for others, despite identical devices, creds, and network. Whats worse? Is that an offline area will not download one day while working just fine the next. In an environment where workflows really need to be standardized, we cant really work in two weeks of "Ok lets try to get these maps on to our devices". And if you have to modify the forms or map at all? Forgetaboutit.

Looking through the logs are almost fruitless. Almost.

One log in particular caught my eye: "[APP LIFECYCLE] Application asked to trim memory, level :: 5"

No idea what that means, but time for another fruitless search on the internet...I only get one hit, and its another user having a completely separate issue with Field Maps, an issue involving streaming (issue details can be found here). So after reading into that I had a thought: What if the streaming setting is on and that is somehow causing this erratic inability to download? I thought I had arbitrarily set it to off, as we don't have a need for it. So I check my maps and lo and behold: the setting is on.

So there was my next course of action: Turn off the streaming setting and attempt to download the areas again. I will report back with my results.

 

 

LindsayRaabe_FPCWA

Your posts will be interesting to follow. I expect a moderator will likely move your post out of ideas and into the discussion section, but it will great to see what problems you come up against and the different solutions you try and implement. I know from personal experience that this can be a super frustrating process!

KatherineMcCoy

I look forward to following your documentation. Ever since switching from Terrasync to Field Maps last year I have been dumbfounded multiple times. Consistency as you mentioned in working offline is non-existent; in fact, working offline is incredibly difficult and requires substantial preplanning. If you don't make sure everything is in order and successfully downloaded, it is easy to misstep and then get soooo mad when you get out in the field and realized! A few weeks prior, I went to submit a streamed feature and was unable to submit it because of some java timeout script. It was so spontaneous because I had already collected multiple features that morning and all submitted fine. It was also frustrating because I had just navigated through some dense vegetation. It also sucks because you can't save it as a draft, you just lose the feature. I tried troubleshooting the problem when arriving back in the office and couldn't find any information pertaining to it. 

This is just one of many problems I have run into with ArcField Maps, I really wonder if it is a me issue, or a fieldmaps issue. Its very frustrating because I feel like I am just stabbing in the dark trying to troubleshoot, and when you think you get the answer it may not be suitable for the next time the issue arises. Or you'll find people with the same issue as yours in the discussion board, but no solution is ever found.

Honestly, there are times I think about just whipping out Ol' Faithful (our old Geo7xs) and using Terrasync. Things were so simple then. All your features packaged up in a nice, neat file. All your pictures and everything. Unfortunately those devices just got so old and would buffer all the time, so we thought upgrading to our new Trimble whatever android stuff we have now would just be an enhancement. Originally we had gotten a Terraflex account, thinking it was the new and improved Terrasync. NOPE! Not in the least. So we switched to field maps. Still the little things we took for granted in Terrasync are missing!!! 

I know this was a rant, but I really look forward to reading your updates to see if others are having the same issues, or if I am the issue. I have really failed to establish a solid workflow for preparing maps and post processing data with FieldMaps.