Our Insights

My Three Favorite Features in Esri’s Latest Collector Release

April 6, 2020

By Robert Krisher
Senior GIS Consultant, POWER Engineers

With the big push to enable our mobile workforces with digital solutions, I wanted to take a moment to look at the most exciting new features in the latest release of Esri’s mobile data viewing and editing solution, Collector.

I will focus on three of the new features that are easily overlooked but have been requested by the community for years. These features are huge quality of life improvements for the workers who are out in the field using the application all day, every day.

#1 Automatic Offline Synchronization

The first new change I want to highlight is the application now has a setting that will automatically synchronize edits for users who have gone offline. This allows our mobile workers to focus on the task at hand without needing to keep pushing a button to send their work back to the office. It also acts as a safeguard against users who sometimes forget to check their edits back in when they return to the office.

#2 Code Scanning

With the second feature, any input field can be captured by scanning a barcode or QR code. This is a great quality of life improvement for those users who need to wear special protective equipment like gloves. It also benefits customers who have invested in barcoding their equipment for convenience or regulatory reasons as it is a great way of maximizing your return on that investment.

#3 Google Maps Integration

The final enhancement is the ability to get directions via Google Maps when you use the application on a mobile device. Users have had the ability to navigate using Esri’s mobile navigation app for years but giving field workers the ability to use an application they’re already familiar for navigation is great for both usability and safety.

For the full release notes you can read Esri’s announcement here.

If you’re looking to implement a mobile GIS solution at your utility, reach out to Kristi Norman, Geospatial and Asset Management Business Development Department Manager.