The ArcPad Team Blog

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

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Repeat Attributes Tool

The irony of having repeated questions about the Repeat Attributes function on the ArcPad Forums has not been lost on the ArcPad Team – so let’s take an in-depth look at the mysterious green arrow at the bottom of your Edit Forms…

Where have I seen this symbol before?
 In ArcPad 7 and 8 the Repeat Attributes Tool was on the Edit Toolbar as default. It has moved to the Edit Form in ArcPad 10. You can still add the Repeat Attributes Tool to any Toolbar using the Toolbar Editor or add it to your Favorites Toolbar.

How does it work?
After you have entered attribute data into the Edit Form for any layer, select Repeat Attributes to enter the same data into subsequent features collected in that layer automatically. Repeat Attributes can be used on any editable feature type.

Example 1 – The Basics:
If you are collecting multiple features with the same attribute data, using Repeat Attributes allows you to speed up your data collection by populating the Edit Form using the information used for the previous feature. The following workflow can be used for fast and accurate data collection when all of the points collected have the same attribute data:
  • Collect a Feature
  • Fill out the Edit Form
  • Select Repeat Attributes
  • Collect another Feature
The Edit Form for the Second Feature has already been populated with the data from the First Feature. This method is great if the majority of your attribute data is the same across features. By having your Edit Form already populated, you only need to edit the feature-specific data (eg. unique identifier, time values).
Example 2 – The Next Steps:
If the data you are collecting has exactly the same attribute values, you may not want or need to see the Edit Form at all. If you open the Table of Contents you can disable the Edit Forms for any layer by un-checking the box under the Edit Form symbol.
  • Collect a Feature
  • Fill out the Edit Form
  • Select Repeat Attributes
  • Disable Edit Form
  • Collect another Feature
This allows for rapid data collection as features can be collected with one tap (Pen or GPS input).

NOTE: If a layer has required fields, the edit form cannot be disabled.

Example 3 - Using Categories

If you are using the QuickCapture Toolbar to collect data - each one of the QuickCapture categories is able to have it's own repeated attributes. This is because each category is treated as a feature class and as such has it's own edit form. By spending a few minutes to set up your categories, this can make your data collection faster, easier and more consistent. The following example is using a QuickProject, but you can use this technique for rapid collection of any data that has been symbolized by category in ArcGIS Desktop before check-out.

I hope this has shed some light on the Repeat Attributes Tool and inspired you to try it for yourself!