The ArcPad Team Blog

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

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Edit Forms - Design and Usability

When the ArcPad Data Manager creates Default Edit Forms for editable layers in your project during Check-Out, the controls will be arranged in a simple grid layout on the form in the same order of the fields (l-r) in your data.

Once you have checked-out your data, you can use ArcPad Studio to open your Edit Forms and customize their look and feel.

Here are some simple tips and tricks to make your ArcPad Edit Forms more beautiful and easier to use.

Color/Style: Color and Style are effective tools to create strong visual cues within your forms. They can be used to build an aesthetically pleasing Form, as well as create contrast and indicate importance for each Control. Some examples of effectively using color and style include:

  • Bold, Red Font to indicate Required Fields
  • Different colored backgrounds to delineate Form Pages
  • Pictures/Symbols in place of Descriptions
  • Larger Text for Headings

Organization: When determining the layout of your Forms, think carefully about the Data Collection Project and organize your Controls accordingly. This may include Ordering, Grouping or a combination of both. Some techniques you can use to organize your Controls are:

  • Location: This can be used to Group Controls based on the Spatial Proximity of the Data Collection Task e.g; Measurements above and below Line-of-Sight, Inspections made inside and outside of a building.
  • Alphabetically: This will arrange the Controls on your Form in Alphabetical Order (A-Z)
  • Time: This determines the Chronological Order of the Data Collection Tasks and arranges the Controls accordingly.
  • Category: This will Group your Controls into Categories where Controls share similar characteristics e.g; Date and Time, First and Last Names.
  • Continuum: This will Order your Controls along a continuous scale eg. Easiest to Hardest Task or Smallest to Largest Control Size.
Choose the technique or combination of techniques that is best suited to your Data Collection Project.

Alignment: Ensuring that the Controls on your Form are aligned will make your form both look good and feel good to use. The Form Designer in ArcPad Studio uses a point grid background to assist with the alignment, symmetry and proportion of your Controls. Controls can also be Aligned and Re sized to match existing Controls easily in ArcPad Studio using the 'Control' Menu.

Remember the Aesthetic Usability Effect - A more attractive form is easier to use than an ugly one!

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

An ArcPad Success Story

Hi everyone,

Our friends in the Esri Environment Team (@esrienvironment) recently tweeted a cool story on a field data programme for water quality monitoring.

"Vermont's Agency of Natural Resources engaged Stone Environmental to develop software applications to automate and digitize the collection of field data for seven state water quality monitoring programs."
CLICK HERE To read the complete article

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

About the ArcPad About Screen

The ArcPad About Screen is so much more than the place to find out which version of ArcPad you are using. The System Information Tab gives you a sneak-peek into the inner workings of ArcPad on your system. If you are looking for available scripting engines, where your personal folder paths are or which locale ArcPad is using – you can find all of this information and more in ArcPad System Information Tab.

So, if you have ever wanted to know more about the following:

-- Location of Log Files (ArcPad.log)

-- Operating System Version (includes Major and Minor
Versions, Build Number and Service Pack Information)

-- Memory Information (includes Load and Available and Total Memory for Physical, Virtual and PageFile Memory)

-- Host Information (includes Name, IP Address, Device ID and WSA Information)

-- System Default Locale (includes Country, Language and Code Page Information)

-- User Default Locale (
includes Country, Language and Code Page Information)

-- Neutral Locale (
includes Country, Language and Code Page Information)

-- Dialog (Base Unit X and Y Values)

-- System Font Registry Settings (includes FaceName and Height)

-- Device Caps (includes Horizontal and Vertical Size and Resolution, Log Pixels, Aspect, SizePalette, NumReserved, ColorRes, Bits/Pixel, Planes, NumBrushes, NumPens, NumFonts and NumColors)

-- Raster Caps (includes Banding, Bitmap, Palette, Scaling and Stretch Information)

-- Icons (includes DPI Scale and Large and Small Icon Sizes)

-- System Information (includes OEM Information and Processor Type, Level and Revision)

-- Windows Classes / API Support (includes Software Input Panel Preferences, Button and CE Conrols Information)

-- Shell Information (includes Locations of ArcPad, Personal and Templates Folders)

-- Store Information (includes Size and Free Space in the Internal Object Store)

-- Scripting Engines (includes all installed Scripting Engines eg. VBScript & JScript)

--Libraries (includes DLL Release Versions and Build Numbers)

-- SQL Server Compact Edition Information (includes Installation Directory and DLL Release Versions and Build Numbers)

- make sure you check out the ArcPad About Screen and System Information Tab to get a better understanding of your ArcPad projects!

The ArcPad About Screen can be found on the 'Main' Toolbar under the 'Help' Menu.

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