The ArcPad Team Blog

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

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Using the ArcPad Data Manager to Check Out and Check In Data

Wondering how to get started? Do you have data in ArcMap that you want to take into the field with ArcPad? Want to know how to bring the edits back?

Here are the steps that i would go through to take the Riverside sample data into the field, and bring the edits back.

Let’s create an ArcPad Project to collect data for Light Pole Inspections.
I begin by creating my project in ArcMap. All of my datasets are in a single geodatabase and they all have the same projection. I have added TEXT fields called ‘Photo’ to my data to incorporate photos into my project. I will be using a version of my geodatabase to allow me to verify all field edits from multiple sources before committing these changes to my DEFAULT version. All of my data and my related tables have been added to ArcMap. I will apply simple symbology and bright colours to optimise presentation and performance on a mobile device. I have set the extent of the map to my work area and saved my map document with an appropriate name (Light Pole Inspection Project.mxd).
Using the Get Data For ArcPad Wizard, the first step is to choose which layers I need to take into the field and then sort those into operational and background layers. I need to check-out the Poles Layer and the rest I will use as background data in a read-only AXF. Because they were present in my ArcMap Document, the related tables for the Poles Layer are included by default. If I am using Map Annotation for labelling or graphics, they will appear in the list of layers available for check-out. Each Annotation Group will have an ArcPad Graphics Layer of the same name created during the check-out process. I will add background imagery from ArcGIS Online using an internet connection and the ‘Add Data From Server’ Tool in ArcPad if I need it in the field. I will leave the ‘Select Existing Forms/Scripts’ box unchecked to create default forms for my project. If I do customise my forms and add scripts, I can use them again by selecting this option the next time I check-out this project.
On the next page of the Wizard, I have set the Picture Field for my Poles Layer and related tables to ‘Photo’. I have selected a folder to store the pictures on my computer. ArcPad will reference this path in the Photo Field and then copy any photos stored in the same folder as my AXF file to this location when I check-in my data. If I had a reference to existing pictures in my data and was using a UNC share or URL location to store my pictures, I could check the ‘Keep path of existing pictures in data’ option to allow me to access these pictures using an internet connection when in the field.
On the next page of the Wizard, I have set the spatial extent to the current display and will only check-out visible fields. I could use a selection to check-out a subset of features or if I was using definition queries, I could export these as filters to limit the amount of data exported or displayed in ArcPad. I have specified a path and a name for the folder where my ArcPad Project will be created. I want to create an ArcPad Map that will inherit the name from my ArcMap Document (Light Pole Inspection Project.apm). It is possible to encrypt and password protect your AXF during check-out to increase data security. It is recommended to validate your data when using ‘Get Data For ArcPad’ the first time.
On the last page of the ‘Get Data For ArcPad’ Wizard, I can create a ZIP or CAB file for easy distribution of my ArcPad Project. If my mobile device is already connected to my computer, the CAB file that is created will automatically deploy to my device as soon as the check-out process has completed. Now that I have configured my check-out I can either create my ArcPad Project now or save my settings to use later.
The results of the check-out operation are displayed at the end of the process. Before deploying your project onto mobile devices, you can customise your project using ArcPad Studio. I will simply take a copy of my project folder or CAB file on an SD card and deploy my project onto one or many mobile devices. Or I could copy the files directly to the device via a USB connection using the Windows Mobile Device Center. Using ArcPad on the mobile device, I can now open the Light Pole Inspection Project.apm and start making edits to my data using default forms.
To check my edits back into my Geodatabase, I first need to copy my Project Folder from the mobile device onto my computer. I will open the Light Pole Inspection Project in ArcMap and start editing the same version of my geodatabase I used during check-out. This is the only geodatabase that will accept the edits from my AXF. Then I will launch the ‘Get Data From ArcPad’ dialog.
After using the ‘Add AXF’ function in the top right corner, I can now see the Poles Layer and associated related tables. In this example, I have collected four new features, modified one feature and deleted one feature. I can now apply these changes to my geodatabase by selecting the checkbox next to the Poles feature class and clicking on ‘Check-in’. The results from the check-in process are displayed after the operation has completed. If I had an ArcPad Graphics Layer that I wanted to add to my project, I would use the ‘Import Graphics’ button to add the ArcPad Graphics to the Active Annotation Target in the Map Document.