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Common Questions


How can I get started with ArcPad?

You can use the QuickProject tool to create a ready-to-use data capture project. QuickProject enables you to take ArcPad into the field, with or without preexisting data, and quickly start capturing data into new shapefiles. When you choose New QuickProject, with only two screen taps you can create ArcPad map, point, polyline, and polygon shapefiles with custom input forms and editable category values that can then be changed dynamically in the field.

In addition, a collection of ArcPad templates is available as a starting point for creating your own ArcPad project. The templates highlight specific applications of ArcPad technology to solve industry problems. These templates vary from tools to applets to forms, all of which illustrate the practical benefits of ArcPad.

Can I customize ArcPad?

ArcPad users are able to customize ArcPad and build focused applications using ArcPad Studio. Developers can build focused applications within the desktop environment and deploy them on Windows-based mobile devices.

Where can I find technical help?

What is ArcPad Studio?

ArcPad Studio is the desktop customization application included with the latest version of ArcPad software, ArcPad 10.2.5. All customization for ArcPad is performed on the desktop, primarily using ArcPad Studio, and deployed with ArcPad on the mobile device. ArcPad Studio gives users the tools to customize ArcPad but is not required to utilize a customized version of ArcPad.

Can I purchase maintenance for ArcPad Studio?

With the purchase of ArcPad 10.2.5, one year of maintenance is included. Additional maintenance can be purchased for successive years. Software maintenance combines technical support services along with software upgrades.

How do I deploy the custom applications I create for ArcPad?

The customization files (applets, extensions, default configurations, and layer definition files) can be deployed to any ArcPad user. No special ArcPad runtime is required. Simply copy the customization files to the appropriate folders on the end user's mobile device. More advanced installations can be created if necessary.

How can I extend the functionality of ArcPad?

ArcGIS Code Sharing has numerous templates and scripts that have been created for ArcPad. These range from adding additional functionality to streamlining processes.

Can I use data from ArcGIS Desktop in ArcPad?

Using the ArcPad Data Manager extension for ArcGIS Desktop included with ArcGIS Desktop (Basic, Standard, and Advanced editions), you can check out feature classes including relationships from a multiuser or personal/file geodatabase for use in ArcPad. Using these same tools, data and any changes can be checked back in to the geodatabase.

What data formats does ArcPad support?

ArcPad supports vector map and raster image display, which includes industry-standard data formats.

Is a GPS required to use ArcPad?

ArcPad does not require a GPS. Creating features can be accomplished with a tap on a map. A GPS is recommended for more accurate location information.

What GPS receivers does ArcPad support?

Esri does not publish a list of supported GPS receivers for ArcPad. However, ArcPad supports the following protocols for communicating with GPS receivers:

  • National Marine and Electronics Association (NMEA) 0183, version 2.0
  • Trimble Standard Interface Protocol (TSIP)
  • Rockwell PLGR Protocol
  • Delorme Earthmate

Do I need a wireless connection to use ArcPad?

ArcPad is software that is designed to run on mobile devices in much the same way as traditional desktop software. Using ArcPad, you can save and store data on the device's internal memory or removable storage. If a wireless connection is available, ArcPad can take advantage of built-in tools for accessing data.

What is the future of ArcPad?

ArcPad will be retired on December 31, 2020. ArcPad fills a necessary position in Esri's product offering by enabling GIS users to work with the many high-accuracy and rugged field devices running on Windows Mobile/Windows CE. But, it is important to note that ArcPad is a mature product that's closely tied to Windows Mobile, and Microsoft has stopped development for the Windows Mobile/Windows CE platform (the last update was Windows Mobile 6.5.5 in 2011). As such, any future updates to ArcPad will be focused on critical bug fixes, and new app development will be focused on modern platforms (iOS, Android, and Windows 10) and products such as Collector for ArcGIS, Survey123 for ArcGIS, and AppStudio for ArcGIS.

Here is what you can expect for ArcPad until the retirement date:

  • ArcPad will only be updated with critical bug fixes if needed.
  • ArcPad will not add new features.
  • ArcPad will continue to only work with ArcMap (ArcPad Data Manager toolbar). We will not develop an ArcGIS Pro tool.
  • Esri tech support will continue to be available for ArcPad customers.

What range finders does ArcPad support?

Esri does not publish a list of supported range finders for ArcPad. However, ArcPad supports the following range finder protocols:

  • Laser Atlanta LA1KA (original)
  • Laser Atlanta LA1KD (extended)
  • Laser Atlanta LA1KC (CMT, Corvallis MicroTechnology)
  • LaserCraft Contour PLCI
  • Laser Technology Criterion 400 format (PLTIT)
  • Leica DISTO interface protocol
  • Leica Vector/Laser Locator data transfer format
  • Measurement Devices Ltd. PMDLA

What digital cameras does ArcPad support?

ArcPad includes drivers for the following connected digital cameras (support for additional connected cameras can be provided via custom camera modules):

  • On PCs, ArcPad includes a driver for cameras that interface via the standard Windows Multimedia API (MCI). These cameras usually connect to the PC via a USB cable, and typically include PCcam and webcam cameras that are capable of taking still photos, although some standard digital cameras can also operate as a webcam. There are a number of webcam cameras available from various vendors. Creative Labs and Logitech are two of the better-known vendors of webcams.
  • Cameras integrated with Windows Mobile devices using standard Windows Mobile 5 (or higher) camera API.

Is ArcPad available in different languages?

The ArcPad user interface is available in a number of languages. Localized versions of ArcPad are currently available for the following languages:

  • Chinese (Hong Kong)
  • Chinese (Simplified)
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • French
  • German
  • Hebrew
  • Hungarian
  • Japanese
  • Norwegian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese (Brazil)
  • Romanian
  • Spanish
  • Swedish

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