ArcGIS Field Maps

5 things to try in Field Maps

ArcGIS Field Maps offers a variety of tools to ensure that mobile workers have everything they need when using maps in the field. Try these five capabilities to get a glimpse into all that Field Maps has to offer:  

  1. View your maps
  2. Sketch and take notes with markup 
  3. Collect data 
  4. Create a map area to use offline 
  5. Track your location 

For a demo of each of these five capabilities, check out the 5 things to try in Field Maps video at the end of this blog post.

1. View your maps

Field Maps allows mobile workers to take their maps anywhere, and it equips them with all the tools they need to be successful in the field. Let’s take a look at the map viewing features available in each map. 

Open the Field Maps mobile app and tap Skip on the sign-in screen to view the sample maps. Tap the Wildfire and Weather Information map card. A map of the United States opens containing wildfire incidents and weather data 

Find and view features

You can tap or search for any feature on the map to view its information. Tap Search Search and type GLASS to search for the GLASS Fire Incident. Tap GLASS Incident and the map pans and zooms to that feature, opening its details.  

Fire and weather map

Get directions to features

You can get directions to any feature using either the compass or a navigation app on your device. Tap any feature and the Directions and Compass tools appear

Directions and Compass tools

Bookmark features

Quickly zoom to a custom map extent with bookmarks. With the details of the feature open, you have the option to bookmark it by tapping Add to My PlacesThe feature now appears in the Bookmarks for your map. You can access your map’s bookmarks by tapping the Overflow Overflow Menu menu 

View the Legend and Layers

Understand the symbols in your map by viewing the legend. Tap the Overflow Overflow Menu menu and then tap Legend. The map’s legend appearshelping you understand key information such as wind speed and thermal hotspot data.  

Control which layers you see on the map by tapping Layers . The Layers menu allows you to show and hide layers on the map. In this example, the National Weather Service – Smoke Forecast layer is turned off by default. Turn this layer on to get a view of the day’s smoke forecast, and then turn it off when you need to view other data that it may obscure.  

Legend and Layers menu

Change the basemap 

You can change the basemap to view your assets in a different context. Change the basemap by tapping the Overflow Overflow Menu menu and then tapping Basemap. A list of basemaps appears. Tap Imagery to see if any buildings are near the GLASS Fire perimeter 

Change the basemap.

Measure distance and area

You might need to take measurements on the fly while working in the field. Measure distances and areas on any map with the Measure tool. Tap the Overflow Overflow Menu menu and then tap Measure. Try measuring the distance between two points and measuring an area on the map. The measurement appears, and you can configure the units based on what’s needed for your workflow.  

Measure distance and area

2. Sketch and take notes with markup

Use markup to capture sketches and notes on any map. Markup is saved as a layer on your device, so updates made to the map won’t affect it. You can use markup for your own information, like drawing on a paper map—or you can share it to communicate with others. 

Open the Wildfire and Weather Information sample map if you haven’t already. Tap the Overflow Overflow Menu menu, and then tap Markup to start annotating your map.  

Add markers and arrows

Long press on the map to add a marker. Markers can be used to indicate points of interest on a map. You can add both a label and notes to a marker. Tap the Arrow button to add an arrow to your marker. The direction of the arrow can be adjusted and it stays attached to your marker.  

Add markers and arrows.

Draw lines and shapes

Quickly capture notes on any map by drawing lines or shapes on the map. You can add both a label and notes to any drawing or shape you create. Additionally, you can change the color of the drawing and fill shapes with transparent color.  

Add shapes and lines.

Save and share

While in edit mode, tap Share Share to share your markup. When you are done marking up your map, tap Done. Your markup is stored in a layer that you can turn on and off from the Layers menu.  

Share markup.

For more information, see Use markup 

3. Collect data 

To collect data in a map enabled for editing, you will need to sign in using an ArcGIS account. Open any map enabled for editing and collect new assets or update existing data. For information on how to create and deploy a map enabled for editing, see Create a map and Share your map for use in Field Maps 

Tap Add on the map to begin the data collection process. The water inspection map shown below has preconfigured feature templates that list the different kinds of assets that can be collected.  

Collect data.

In the water inspection map, tapping Fire Hydrant opens a form that mobile workers fill out before adding the new asset to the map. The form is configured ahead of time to make sure the information needed for each feature is collected. For more information, see Configure the form and Fill out forms

Before submitting updates, make sure the location target is hovering over the area where you want to add the data point. If snapping is enabled, the location target will automatically snap to existing point features or vertices of lines and polygons. This ensures precision in the data collection experience.  

Snap to vertices

Once mobile workers have filled out the form, they can tap Submit and the new point is added to the map. The new point is updatein Field Maps as well as in Map Viewer in ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise.  

Submit a new feature.

In addition to collecting single data points, you can capture a stream of data while moving, use GPS averaging, update data at existing points, and more. For more information on how to collect data in the Field Maps mobile app, see Capture and Inspect 

4. Create a map area to use offline

You can’t always plan where you’ll be working for the day. If you realize you’ll be working in an area with an unreliable internet connection, you can create a map area that allows you to view assets and collect data while working offline 

Map areas package the databasemap, and any attachments within a defined extent of the map. This package then downloads to your device, allowing you to view assets and collect data while offline. Map areas can be defined ahead of time, but they can also be defined in the Field Maps mobile app.  

If a map is enabled for offline use, you can create a map area by tapping the Overflow Overflow Menu menu on the map card and then clicking Add Offline Area. Define the extent, then tap download. 

Add offline area

5. Track your location

Location tracking allows you to know where mobile workers are and where they’ve been. It also allows mobile workers to view their tracks on the maps they work with.  

If location tracking is enabled for your organization and you have an ArcGIS Tracker license, the My Tracks map card appears in the Maps list. Tap the toggle button on the map card to turn location tracking on and off. You can also turn location tracking on and off by tapping the GPS banner on any map.  

Turn location tracking on and off.

The My tracks layer is included in every map on your device and can be turned on and off from the Layers menu. Tap Options to filter the time frame of tracks to display on each map. This is helpful for evaluating where you’ve been in the context of the other information on your map.  

View tracks in the Field Maps mobile app.


For a demo of each of the capabilities listed above, watch the following video:

Additional information 

This article covered a short list of the many features included in Field Maps. Check out the following resources to see all this app has to offer: 

About the authors

Josh is a Product Writer with a background in geography and comparative literature. When he isn't writing for the field apps team, he enjoys reading short stories and playing his bass clarinet.


D'Maia is a product writer with a background in Geology who is passionate about communicating technical information.

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