Christmas with Collector for ArcGIS: An In Field test. Part 3.

Ready, Set, Collect!

If you missed Part 1 you can read it here: >>

Part 2 can be accessed here:>>

In the previous post we looked at creating data, publishing feature services on ArcGIS Online for Organisations and setting up two web maps with different access levels.

Now that we have two web maps – one for the general public and the one that allows authorised users to edit features, we can switch to the last phase of the workflow and use the Collector for ArcGIS application to edit the features.

Step five.

If you don’t have the Collector for ArcGIS app installed on your smartphone, you can download it from the appropriate application store. The URLs are available here:

Once you’ve installed the app, run it and sign in to ArcGIS Online.


The maps that you’ve published will appear in the MyMaps list.


Hit More> next to the map that you want to open and press Open in the menu that will appear.

The default functionality of the Collector for ArcGIS app allows you to digitize points, lines and polygons using the GPS data captured by the smartphone. If you press the “location button” the application will display your current location


To capture a new feature you can use the Collect button.


Then choose a template to collect the new feature. Note that all the layers that are editable will appear as editing templates.

I will collect a new checkpoint (just like I was doing on our field trip in WA)


The system will allow me to fill out the attributes.

As I have enabled attachments, I can use my smartphone’s camera to take a picture.


I can select a photo from the library or I can take a new one


Hit Done when ready and hit Submit to send the information back to ArcGIS Online


Note the icon in the top-right corner which shows the accuracy


You can set the required accuracy in the Settings dialog.


This allows you to control the accuracy of your in field data collection.

Once you’ve hit the Submit Button, the users of the public map will see the new point with attributes and attachments showing in the web application.


As you can see this point is located in Brisbane, as I’m obviously writing this blog in Brisbane.

The points that the users collect in the field can later be exported to a shapefile or a CSV file.


Alternatively you can reference this feature service in a map document in ArcMap or another web mapping application either in AGOL or running from your ArcGIS for Server.

Frankly speaking, it took a lot more time to write this blog than to roll-out the entire solution in ArcMap and ArcGIS Online for Organisations. AGOL and Collector for ArcGIS app provide you with an easy and relatively inexpensive way to create a solution which incorporates centralized data storage and the field data collection techniques, summed up with a fast and easy way to disseminate this information to the public. This can be extremely useful in many applications, such as Emergency Response, environmental management and many others. Or you can just have fun with web and mobile GIS and let the World know whereabouts while you’re travelling.

Collecting your GIS data in the field just became simpler!

This entry was posted in General and tagged , , on by .

About Ivan E.

Russia-born geographer with a degree in Cartography and GIS with a 18-year Esri-related experience. Had been working for Esri Russia (CIS) then moved to Australia to join Esri Australia as support trainer in the Professional services dept. Area of expertise: ArcGIS Desktop software, 3D modelling (CityEngine), cartography, remote sensing

2 thoughts on “Christmas with Collector for ArcGIS: An In Field test. Part 3.

    1. Ivan E. Post author

      Hi Brent, thanks for the question.

      This functionality is available in ArcGIS Desktop 10.2. You can create a local copy of the feature service and download the data with attachments to your computer. The steps are the following:
      1. In ArcMap navigate to File > Sign In and use your AGOL for Organisations username and password.

      2. Go to File > ArcGIS Online and search for your data and maps. Locate and select the feature service that you want to download and add it to ArcMap

      3. In the table of contents in ArcMap right-click on the Feature Service and choose Edit Features > Create Local Copy for Editing. This will create a local file geodatabase located in you user profile folder (C:\Users\Current User\Documents\ArcGIS\….. )

      4. The geodatabase created in Step 3 will contain the data, attachments and the relationship class used to link attachments to features. The images stored as geodatabase attachments are managed by the geodatabase (that’s Default) which means will be stored inside this downloaded file geodatabase.

      Hope this helps.


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