Maximize field efficiency with app integration

May 8, 2018 Jessica McCann

Are you prepared for what Mother Nature will bring us this spring? From ice storms, snow storms, flooding and wildfires to regular routines, take to the field with Esri apps and app integration.

Field season is fast approaching. Will you be ready for the new asset inspections after a winter season that may have caused damages? Why not maximize your efficiency with ArcGIS apps for the field integration by planning and preparing ahead? Combining the following apps can boost your next field collection. Let’s review some of our popular apps that can be combined:

Collector for ArcGIS: Gather field data on a map
Survey123 for ArcGIS: Leverage form centric capabilities to capture survey answers
Navigator for ArcGIS: Navigate your workers to where they need to be
Workforce for ArcGIS: Organize workers and productivity

You may ask yourself: where should I start? For ease of combining these apps together, let’s review my preferred workflow. You can be creative by customizing this list, making enhancements, creating your own or starting from ArcGIS Online’s latest already build Feature Layer Template Gallery focused on industry specific workflows.

Follow these steps to create app integration in your ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS Online.

  1. Get your assets’ data in ArcGIS Online by publishing a hosted feature service with editing capabilities.
  2. Create and design the web map for use in Collector for ArcGIS.
  3. Create and design a survey form for use in Survey123 for ArcGIS.
  4. Open Navigation for ArcGIS to access ready-to-use maps. Should you choose to use your own map, follow the steps in this exercise.

The workflow presented below is intended as a general guideline to integrate the apps listed above and will assume that the items above have been created. Should you not want to integrate them all, skip over the ones you wish to exclude.

Most of these apps are not enabled by default and require configuration. Now that you have the ground work complete, let’s review how each integration needs to be configured. Although there is no order to integrate, I started with the list order below:

Navigator integration

Navigator integration is relatively easy since this integration flips on/off or can be enabled as default as part of the list parameters.
For Collector, this is activated directly from via your Collector App Actions   > Settings. Detailed steps can be found in the documentation here.

For Workforce, unlike the others, Navigator integration is enabled by default (see image below). This parameter can be accessed from your workforce project advanced parameter’s page.

Workforce integration

All app integrations are available via each project’s advance configuration.

  • For Collector > click Add and choose your Web Map
  • For Navigator > use your current opened map in Navigator
  • For Survey123 > click Add and choose the desired survey

Additional resources can be found here.

Survey123 integration

Finally, Survey123 integration with other apps is accomplished using a custom URL scheme. This URL scheme triggers opening apps from a web browser onto your desktop or device or within another app. Collector and Navigation can be combined via this URL scheme as opposed to Workforce from the project advance configurations. Detailed workflows are available in the documentation below:

Link to Survey123 from other apps

Link to other apps from Survey123

Since you can invoke a custom URL scheme programmatically, this is where you may spend more time during the configuration phase. With the numerous list of parameters that can be invoked, the length of this configuration is totally up to you and your desired action items.

Survey123’s custom URL scheme may peak your interest. “Understanding Survey123's custom URL Scheme” is a very good resource to get you started.

Now, take to the field with Esri Apps and app integration!

About the Author

Jessica McCann

Jessica McCann is a Desktop Support Consultant at Esri Canada. She supports a wide range of Esri products, including ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS apps for the field. Jessica holds a BA in geography and education from the University of Moncton and a certificate in cartography: digital mapping from the Centre of Geographic Sciences. Awarded with the Canadian Forces’ Decoration, she is highly involved with the Royal Canadian Army Cadets and coaches orienteering and biathlon as part of the program. Jessica is fully bilingual in English and French.

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