MobileMap: Basic Configuration and Base Map Download

Basic Configuration Overview

  • Basic configuration for data collection includes the following steps. Most of these steps require an internet connection. Before proceeding, make sure you are connected to WiFi and have a strong signal.

  1. Get familiar with the ‘Actions Menu’

  2. Sign into ArcGIS

  3. Download base map

  4. Select Feature Service

  5. Initialize Feature Service

  6. Import settings

  7. Enter User-Specific Settings

  8. Confirm download parameters

  9. Download data (optional)

1. Get familiar with the Actions Menu

The Actions Menu is used for many workflows in MobileMap. It is accessed using the Actions Menu icon, second from right in the top right corner of MobileMap.

When the Actions Menu opens, you will see a long list of Actions. The most common actions are at the top of the list and include larger buttons to make selecting them easier. These include ‘Sign in to ArcGIS’, ‘Upload Features’ and ‘Download’. In this initial setup we will use ‘Sign in to ArcGIS’, ‘Download Basemap’, ‘Select Feature Services’, 'Initialize Database' and optionally ‘Download’.

2. Sign In to ArcGIS

  • Enter your ArcGIS Username

  • Enter your ArcGIS Online Password

  • Tap 'Sign In'

  • You should receive a notice stating that you have successfully signed in to ArcGIS

  • If you receive an error here, please contact your organizations MobileMap point of contact

3. Download Base Map

MobileMap requires one or more base maps stored in Esri’s Tile Package (TPK) format. These may include aerial imagery, road information, topography, etc. If your device was pre-loaded with base map data you should already be seeing a map at this stage of the configuration. If you believe that your device does already have base map(s), but you are not seeing them, you may need to select the ‘map cache’ or project. To do this, open the ‘Select Map Cache’ dialog (4th button from the right in the upper right of MobileMap) and select your preferred map cache from the list. If your device did not come pre-configured with base map data, this section will cover the steps to download a suitable base map to get started using MobileMap.

In some organizations, base maps are created using a PC and ArcGIS Desktop then transferred to mobile devices for field use. This approach may be optimal for organizations that own or manage land and thus have consistent and large areas where they work. For mone information on creating base map TPKs using ArcGIS Desktop please see

In other organization, base maps are created directly within MobileMap. This approach is ideal in several scenarios:

  1. Evaluating MobileMap - When assessing if MobileMap is right for your workflows, direct creation of base maps in MobileMap allows you to quickly download a base map and start testing navigation and data collection. This skips the step of ArcGIS Desktop to create a base map, even if you may chose to do so in production use of MobileMap.

  2. No access to ArcGIS Desktop - For organizations that do not have access to ArcGIS Desktop, or where the users who do have access to ArcGIS Desktop are not available to support base map creation, the option to create base maps directly in MobileMap may be a good fit. It is very easy to do, but there are some limitations to be aware of. Base maps created in MobileMap use ArcGIS map services and have limitations on the size of the base maps that can be created. Size limitations are determine by both the extent and the resolution of the basemap, see details below for more information.

  3. Unpredictable work areas - For organizations that don’t own or manage land, there may be limited advance notice of work areas. In these organizations, there is no real benefit of pre-creating large area base maps - simply use MobileMap to create the base maps for the areas you will work for the next day, week, month, etc. The key thing to remember in this scenario is that you will need a good WiFi connection to create a base map in MobileMap, and it may take a while (typically 5 minutes maximum).


Follow the steps below to download a suitable base map for testing:

  • Make sure you signed in to ArcGIS as described in the steps above

  • Open the Actions Menu and select ‘Download Basemap’

  • Select the desired base map from the list of available Esri base maps

  • Pan and zoom to an area where you plan to begin using or testing MobileMap

  • Select the maximum zoom level for the map data

    • We recommend using the smallest area, lowest resolution map that is practical at this stage. This will reduce the download time.

  • Once the map extend and zoom level are selected, tap the Download icon to begin the download.

    • Android version

      • Android 10 and higher

        • For Android 10+ devices MobileMap will prompt you for the location to save the file. Select the ‘TPK’ subfolder within desired project folder (or the ‘default’ folder). It is also possible to override the default naming convention but be sure to retain the .tpk suffix

        • Note that some users of Tab Active 3 devices have reported that a recent update (November 2022) has resulted in files being downloaded with a .tpk.part extension. We are working to implement a workaround for this in MobileMap. If you find that TPKs do not load properly and contain the .tpk.part extension, simply rename the files by removing the .part at the end of the filename.

      • Android 9 and lower

        • For Android 9 and lower devices, MobileMap will save base maps to the Downloads folder of your internal storage using a default name based on the image source, resolution and date.

    • During the download process, you will see a notification with an estimated file size for the TPK file. We have found that files less than 10 MB can be reliably downloaded over most network connections. Files up to 50 MB will work on better network connections. We have seldom seen files greater than 100 MB download successfully. A good starting point is to download an area that is a few hundred acres at zoom level 16. If the initial download is well within the file sizes noted above, try zooming out to increase the map area or select the next higher zoom level (e.g. from L16 to L17) and download again.

  • Use the ‘X' button to close the Download Basemap’ dialog and return to MobileMap

  • If using an Android version lower than Android 10, launch your file manager app and copy the TPK file(s) from the Downloads folder on your internal storage to the TPK subfolder of your desired project folder in the MobileMap folder, which will typically be on your MicroSD Card

  • Once you have a downloaded base map TPK in the TPK subfolder of your desired project folder in the MobileMap folder you should be seeing this base map data in MobileMap. If not, use the 'Select map cache' (4th from right in the upper right corner of MobileMap), to select the map project where you copied/downloaded your base map TPK.

  • If you still are unable to see map data, contact your organization’s MobileMap point of contact or WSG’s support team at

4. Select the Feature Service



  • Tap the download arrow button to get a list of available Feature Services

    • If this is not your first time signing into ArcGIS you will see the refresh arrows

  • Select the feature service that was identified by your organization’s MobileMap point of contact or by WSG staff by tapping the checkbox to the right of the Feature Service name.

    • Note that it is possible to select more the feature services, but this is an uncommon scenario that will require additional support from your organization’s MobileMap point of contact

  • Tap save button to close

  • In version 4.4.0 or higher of MobileMap closing this dialog will automatically open the next step - initializing the Feature Service

5. Initialize Feature Service

Initializing the feature service is a critical step in which MobileMap downloads a snapshot of the data model so that all tables and attribute fields are available offline for data collection. It will delete ALL data on your tablet, so make sure that any data that were previously collected (if relevant) have been uploaded before continuing. Note that this step does NOT download data (e.g., points, that will happen in the final step listed on this page.


    • If you receive a message stating that you need to Confirm Database Delete and you are installing a new version of MobileMap, then something is wrong.  If you already initialized a feature service MobileMap will prompt you to type 'confirm' to continue

    • After initialization completes, you should see a message stating that the feature service description contains MobileMap settings

  • In version 4.4.0 or higher of MobileMap closing this dialog will automatically open the next step - Importing Settings

6. Import Settings

MobileMap is a highly configurable application, and many of the configurations are stored in the application settings. Application settings can be exported as a text file, or imported from a text file. The preferred approach, however, is to import the settings from the feature service. The steps below assume that the data manager has saved the most critical settings for your feature service directly to that feature service, so they can be imported during this configuration process.


    • Tap the ‘Feature service' radio button or ‘Settings File’ radio button depending on your organization’s preference

    • Verify that the Feature Service you are using is selected in the dropdown list and that several settings rows are displayed with their setting, value and a checkbox to 'overwrite' existing settings

    • Tap 'IMPORT' to import these settings

    • You should see a message stating that settings imported successfully

    • Tap 'X' to finish

  • If you import settings the MobileMap Settings will automatically open at this point

  • This is good time to fill in your Authentication Information and Observer Name or Initials (see details below)

    • Back arrow out of Settings

  • Actions > DONE (closes the Actions menu if it is still open) 

Note that there may be times when it is helpful to restore the default MobileMap settings prior to importing settings. This can be useful when a user has edited settings or has imported settings from other Feature Services in the past. To restore default settings, simply tap the refresh (recycle) icon and confirm you want to restore the default settings. Once the defaults have been restored, you can go back and import the settings using the steps above to ensure all settings on your devices are either the default values or those that are stored on the Feature Service you will be using.

7. Enter User-Specific Settings

  • Open Settings 


  • ArcGIS Username

    • Enter your ArcGIS Online username

  • ArcGIS Password

    • Enter your ArcGIS Online password

  • Tap back arrow to return to main settings page

  • Tap on 'Data Collection and Editing'

    • Observer Initials or Name

      • Enter your full name or initials (e.g., John Doe or jbd)


8. Confirm Download Parameters (Optional)

MobileMap supports filters known as download parameters when downloading data. Download parameters are optional, but can be helpful when a user does not want to download all of the data stored in a feature service. Examples include scenarios where a user only works in a particular region, or where they should only download data that has been assigned to their company.

Only complete this step if you have been instructed to do so, or you are confident with the data model, completeness of the data, and have read the documentation found in he documentation


    • For each relevant layer, enter in the query ‘where’ statement. Note that download parameters for timber cruise are typically applied to the Stands, Plots, Trees and Logs (where relevant). Examples include:

      • Company_ID='XYZ'

      • Work_Area='Nortwest'

      • Cruiser_ID='JJD'

      • Status='Cruised'

    • Typically metadata tables like Rules and Related_Domains are typically NOT filtered

    • Sometimes whole tables are removed from the download list. For example, while a user may collect data with Generic Points, Lines and Polygons, they may choose to uncheck these layers to prevent them being downloaded to their MobileMap device.

9. Download (Optional)

The download task downloads all new or modified data. On the first download, it will download all data in a feature service, or all features that meet the download parameters defined in the previous step. On future downloads, it will download only those data that meet the download parameters AND have been created or modified since the last download.

This step is listed as optional on this page because it is not necessary to download any data in order to collect new features. A typical workflow, however, includes downloading features such as stand boundaries and plot locations that will be used in the field for collected or editing attributes.

If downloading data for use in MobileMap, do the following

  • Ensure you are connected to WiFi and have a strong signal

  • Actions > DOWNLOAD

    • Wait for the download process to complete

    • If you get an error message stating that a token is required, please re-sign in to ArcGIS (Actions > 'Sign in to ArcGIS')

    • Verify the expected number of features that have been downloaded 

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