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 Mobile GIS & LBS
Matt Sheehan
Matt Sheehan
Matt holds an MSc in Geography and GIS. He has been working with clients solving problems with GIS for over 17 years. Matt founded WebMapSolutions whose mission is to put innovative, intuitive GIS driven applications into the hands of new and existing users.

Mobile ArcGIS Online-Offline Editing

June 5th, 2012 by Matt Sheehan

No doubt the most frequent approach we get for the mobile ArcGIS apps we develop are offline or disconnected workflows. Clients want both to be able to visualize basemaps and their layers when out of wi-fi range, and offline editing; new feature additions, deletions and attribute edits.

ArcGIS 10.1 gives us tile packages (.tpk) so we can store tile pyramids locally on the device. Mansour has a nice example showing how to access basemap tiles using a tpk in offline mode on his blog.

The real challenge is offline editing. ESRI introduced Feature Server with Feature layers in ArcGIS 10, which work nicely in online mode. In April they released an Online-Offline Editing Sample using their iOS api. They include in their notes supporting the sample:

“For the sake of simplicity, the sample ….only allows you to add new features when the application is offline, not modify or delete existing features.”

Now there is the real challenge, what they have left out of the sample.

We are most interested in cross platform solutions; since the majority of our clients are targeting more than just one platform. So much of our work centres around HTML5/Javascript and Mobile Flex development. In each case ESRI provide excellent ArcGIS api’s.

But offline editing is a tougher nut to crack. Saying that, we have made significant progress in taking feature layers offline using a cross platform approach. We will share more of our thoughts in this area as things evolve.

In many industries, data collection remains reliant on pen and paper. We work with a number of gas pipeline companies, helping them move towards a digital, mobile approach to these field based tasks. We would be interested in your thoughts on offline editing. How are you currently collecting enterprise critical data?

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Category: Mobile ArcGIS

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