The ArcPad Team Blog

Unofficial stuff from the team behind the World's leading mobile GIS platform

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Let's talk about ACCESSIBILITY!

Many of the same principles of cartographic accessibility apply to your ArcPad Projects. The focus on functionality and usability is the same. However, the colours and symbology you are using for map production may not be optimal for field data capture.
When you prepare your next ArcPad Project: Think ARCPAD

Area: The screen area of your mobile device is limited. Make the most of the space available without crowding or complicating your map. Be aware of size and keep it simple!
Resolution: Most mobile devices have a QVGA (320 x 240) or VGA (640 x 480) display. Your desktop PC will most likely have a much higher resolution. Optimise your map for use at a lower resolution by removing unnecessary detail e.g. use colour and symbols instead of text labels to describe features.
Colour: Be bold with colour! Make sure your operational layer is easily distinguishable from background data. For help choosing colour schemes that are colour-blind and laptop friendly visit
Place: Field data capture occurs in the field! Think about the effect field conditions such as light and glare. Take your project for a test-run in outdoor conditions before deployment.
Aesthetics: Resist the urge to overuse labels and complex symbology to improve the aesthetics of your project. Your map doesn’t need to look fancy, it needs to be functional!
Display: Only display data that is relevant. This includes using scale-dependent feature rendering as well as limiting the amount of data that is taken into the field. Keep your map display simple and easy to interpret.
Not only will this help your ArcPad Project to be more accessible, it will also help to improve performance!