MobileMap: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why can’t I can’t see the first trees I collected when I collect more than 20 trees?

When I collect more than 20 trees and then try to scroll to the top of the tree list to view the first few trees, they are gone. I know the trees are being saved because when I upload them I can see them in InventoryManager and in ArcGIS Online, but when I reopen the tree list for that plot I can’t display the first trees.

Most likely this is because you had collected more than 20 trees.  There is a setting in MobileMap to optionally limit the amount of trees that are displayed.  The default is 20, which works well for typical scenarios because a typical BAF plot will have 5-10 trees for most foresters, while a 100% Tally will not get bogged down trying to handle scrolling of potentially hundreds of trees.  To fix this, change the max tree rows to display setting near the bottom of the Trees settings (Settings > MobileMap Cruise > Trees > Maximum Number of Tree Rows.

Why does MobileMap freeze with message "backing up database" After closing tree list?

When closing the tree list MobileMap freezes with message "backing up database" and a spinning circle. I have to force close the app and restart. No data is lost, but once the problem starts happening it seems to happen all the time. Uploading my data seems to help for a while.

This is typically caused by insufficient disk space.  MobileMap tries to make a backup of all features that have been created or edited since your last upload.  After a big data collection, the backup file can be large.  After many days of collection, there can be a large number of files.  Since your device had limited space when we set it up on Monday, this is likely the cause.  Deleting files to free up space should resolve this issue. As a workaround you can disable the automated backup in settings (Settings > MobileMap Cruise > General > Database Backup Interval) by setting it to ‘Never’ but this is not recommended as it could put your data at risk if your device is damaged prior to backup.

What ArcGIS Online User Type do I need in order to use MobileMap?

Follow this link to see the available user types https://www.esri.com/en-us/arcgis/products/arcgis-online/buy. MobileMap requires Editor user type to enable create/edit/delete of features. Many users prefer to purchase the the Field Worker user type at the higher price so they can access other Esri applications such as Collector (soon to be replaced by Field Maps), Survey123, Dashboards, etc. The Field Worker user type is not needed, however, if you only plan to use MobileMap (and WSG InventoryManager).

Why does my Base Map disappear when I zoom in?

I used the Download Basemaps tool and download a TPK file, then copied it into the TPK folder in my project directory. The base map displays fine when I am zoomed out, but when I zoom in the map completely disappears. I was hoping it would just get blurry if I zoomed in further than the resolution of the base map.

The Download Basemaps tool uses Esri’s base map services and specifically the export image endpoint. For some reason, Esri decided to set the maxScale parameter within the TPKs it produces. While we have suggest that this is not the expected or desired behavior, that setting persists. This means that if you selected zoom level L15 when downloading the base map, the image completely disappears (won’t display) when you zoom to level 16 or greater. There is a workaround (see below), but it is complex and can’t be completed within MobileMap. Where possible, try to zoom in to as small of an extent as possible, and select a zoom level that meets your needs in the field (e.g., L16). In our experience, downloads greater than 100MB are seldom successful, so you may need to accept a lower zoom level, or break your base map into multiple smaller extent base maps.

TPK maxScale workaround:

  1. Copy TPK to a PC

  2. Rename file from *.tpk to *.zip then unzip the file

  3. Open the file \servicedescriptions\mapserver\mapserver.json in a text editor

  4. Search for all instances of “mapScale”, and change any non-zero mapScale values to 0

  5. Save mapserver.json

  6. Select all of the folders that were in the TPK

  7. Rezip all of the folders that were produced when unzipping the original file. The re-zip must be done without compression. This is the trickiest step, as the default windows zip tool cannot do this. You will need a zip utility like 7-zip that has the option to simply archive with no compression.

  8. Rename file back to *.tpk

  9. Copy TPK back to the appropriate folder in your MobileMap directory on your mobile device

 

Can I use the same base map TPK in MobileMap and Esri’s Field Maps?

My organization uses Field Maps in addition MobileMap. Both apps use base maps in TPK format and I would like to be able to make a single TPK file and use it in both apps. Is this possible and if so, how do I do that?

The short answer is that you cannot use the same TPK base map file with both Field Maps and MobileMap. The main reason for this is Android security - Android creates silos to protect apps from accessing other apps data. MobileMap uses a specific file structure and access data in that file structure is possible because the user grants permission when selecting their data directory in MobileMap. Field Maps using a different directory structure which it has permission to read and write data. It is possible to create a TPK and save it into two locations, one for Field Maps and another for MobileMap. This approach may be the most efficient way to create base maps, as it may cut down on the processing time for building TPKs. It will, however, require twice the data volume of the TPK since it will be stored in two different locations.

If this poses a significant impact to your organization please contact our team and we can explore options for enhancing MobileMap to

Why can’t I see any base maps in MobileMap?

I used the Download Basemap tool and it seemed to work as expected - displayed a message that base map had been downloaded, but I don’t see my base map - just a blank screen. How can I get my base map working?

There are a number potential causes for this issue. Use the check list below to help resolve the issue:

  1. Verify that MobileMap licensed - MobileMap must be licensed to display base maps. If it is not licensed, or if the license has expired or is not valid, you should see a brief popup message when MobileMap starts up that indicates that the license was not found or is not valid. The best way to check, however, is to use the license tool (Actions > License Device). At the top of this tool you should see a message indicating the license status. If the license has expired simply re-submit to refresh your licenses. If you have never licensed your device, follow instructions here https://woodlandsg.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/MD/pages/33037 and herehttps://woodlandsg.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/MD/pages/628129793

  2. Verify that the data directory is correct - Base maps are stored in a data directory, typically on a MicroSD card, and MobileMap must have access to that directory. Use the Select Data Directory tool (Actions > Select Data Directory) to select the data directory. See instructions here https://woodlandsg.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/MD/pages/33037. Note that the directory selected during this process should be the MobileMap root directory, and should not contain TPK or Shapefiles directly within it. The MobileMap root directory is typically named ‘MobileMap’ and should have a subfolder named ‘default’ and will likely have other folders like ‘Export’ and ‘Photos’.

  3. Verify that your MobileMap folder structure is correct. MobileMap uses project or map cache folders which can be named however you want, but we recommend avoiding spaces or special characters in folder names. Project folders are found in the MobileMap root directory. Each project folder will have subfolders including ‘TPK’ and optionally ‘SHP’.

  4. Verify that the base map you downloaded was successfully copied into the correct subfolder. The Download Basemap tool saves all downloaded TPK files into the devices Download folder. This is due to some limitations on file saving on some devices. This requires users to manually copy downloaded files to the correct TPK folder in their desired project folder. Use your devices file manage (e.g., ‘My Files’ on Samsung, ‘Files’ on Google Pixel, etc.) to copy files between folders. For example, if you are working on a project called ‘MyProject’, you will copy the TPK that you download from internal storage/Download → SD Card/MobileMap/MyProject/TPK.

  5. Verify that the correct project has been selected. Use the Select Map Cache tool select the project or map cache where you saved your TPK. See instructions here https://woodlandsg.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/MD/pages/3145754

  6. Verify that the TPK is enabled for display in display properties. Use the Select Layer Display Properties and verify that the TPK is visible in the list (should be near the bottom or the layers list) and that the checkbox is checked. See instructions here

  7. Verify the extent of the base map you downloaded. MobileMap uses the first loaded map cache to set the maximum map extent. If the first loaded base map (e.g., TPK) is small and not in your area of interest, you will be unable to pan the map to your current extent, thus your new base map will not be visible. WSG recommends creating a single large area, low resolution base map and storing it in the default folder (e.g., SD Card/MobileMap/default/TPK) which can be used by MobileMap to set a large map extent when it is loading base maps.

  8. Verify the zoom level of the base map you loaded. Base maps downloaded within MobileMap have a maximum scale or zoom level applied to them. See the question Why does my Base Map disappear when I zoom in? for more details on this problem. If you have made it to this step, then it is possible that you are simply too far zoomed in for your base map to display. Try zooming out - way out - and see if your base map shows up. If so, use the approaches described above or in this document to address this issue.

If you have gone through each of these verification steps and still do not see your map, please reach out to our support team. It will help us resolve the the issue if you can provide screenshots of your folder structure, the Select Map Cache tool, the Select Layer Display Properties tool, etc. It may even be helpful to upload a copy of your TPK file when submitting your support request.

Why does MobileMap display a “Licensed for Developer Use Only” message?

I opened MobileMap today and I now see the message “Licensed for Developer Use Only” as a watermark in the corner of the map. I have never seen this before and don’t know how to make it go away.

When MobileMap displays “Licensed for Developer Use Only”, it means that when it was starting up, it could not determine its “Client_ID”. This only happens when a user has selected “Use Portal for ArcGIS” and has not entered a valid Client ID in the setting “Portal for ArcGIS Client ID”. There are two approaches to resolve this issue:

  1. Manually configure the Portal settings

    1. Either uncheck the “Use Portal for ArcGIS” checkbox, or supply a valid Client ID in the “Portal for ArcGIS Client ID”

    2. Close MobileMap

    3. Remove the app from the recent apps list (this step may not be necessary, but if steps a & b above do not solve the problem, this may needed).

  2. Restore all settings (note: this will remove any custom settings that you have applied which are not in your Feature Service settings or settings file).

    1. Go to Actions > Import Settings

    2. Select “Defaults” and confirm

    3. Select “Import” to re-import settings from your Feature Service or settings file

    4. Close MobileMap

    5. Remove the app from the recent apps list (this step may not be necessary, but if steps a & b above do not solve the problem, this may needed).

Why is my MobileMap map extent limited?

I am trying to pan my map to a location that is covered by my map cache extent, but my map extent appears limited/stuck.

  1. Refresh the Data Directory:

a. Go to Actions > Select Data Directory

b. Select any folder not on the SD Card as the Data Directory and select “Select”

c. Select “Done”

d. Go to Actions > Select Data Directory

e. Select the folder that holds map caches, typically this is called “MobileMap” and is on the SD Card

f. Select “Done”

e. Go to Actions > Select Map Cache to re-load map cache

Why can I not select a Data Directory ?

I am trying to select a data directory, but the directory I select does not appear in the final Select Data Directory window.

This may occasionally happen after upgrading, or reinstalling, the application on a tablet and is related to the Android security permissions on the tablet. One solution is to point the data directory to folder on the tablet (not the SD card) prior to upgrading to a new version and then select the proper data directory on the SD Card after the upgrade. If an upgrade has just occurred and the data directory cannot be selected, the user will need to fully uninstall and then reinstall the application.

Why is my GPS location bouncing all over the place?

My GPS location (blue dot in the map) is bouncing all over the place and not not settling on my actual location.

Noisy GPS can be a hardware problem, a bad GPS chip, a conflict between Android and the GPS chip, etc. An Android update might resolve this if there is one available, but beware that an Android update may require you to relicense your MobileMap software. Sometimes these issues are just temporary and can be resolved using the following steps:

  • Close MobileMap (Actions > Close MobileMap)

  • Turn off devices GPS (method varies with device and Android version)

  • Open then reclose MobileMap (Actions > Close MobileMap)

  • Turn on device’s GPS (method varies with device and Android version)

  • Open MobileMap

If the symptoms keep occurring you may have a tablet with damaged GPS hardware or software. For this you should contact the tablet vendor/reseller for additional support.

Why are my basemaps not drawing when I select my map cache?

I have my map cache selected, but my basemaps are not drawing. What’s wrong?

It could be that your map cache folders are out of order. The folder should look something like this on your SD card, the map cache folders are named ‘OR’ and ‘WA’ in this screenshot:

Make sure the files under each folder, TPK and SHP are not buried in another TPK folder.

Why did MobileMap create duplicate data (e.g., stands/plots/trees)?

I uploaded data from MobileMap and now have duplicate data. Why did this happen, how can I remove the duplicates and how can I prevent this from happening again in the future?

While this situation is very uncommon, there are a few scenarios where this can occur. The good news is that if/when this problem occurs, it does NOT result in any loss of data, only additional data. There can, however, be downstream effects if duplicate data are then used to compile timber volumes, etc.

  1. The most common cause of duplicate data is a bad internet connection during upload. In this scenario, MobileMap uploads data that were created (not just updated) on your mobile device. These records are new, thus are sent to the ‘addFeatures’ endpoint of the feature service. If MobileMap sends the data, but the internet connection is broken before a response is received from the service, MobileMap will not know that the data were successfully received. When this happens, MobileMap has to assume that the data were not received, so it keeps these data in the list of features to upload on the next attempt. When the upload happens the next time, these data are sent again, creating duplicates. If they receive the response from the server on this second attempt, then MobileMap updates their status and they are no longer queued for upload. In this example, you would have 2 copies of each feature.

  2. There have been a few reports over the years of duplicates being created when an unusual data issue is encountered when configuring or testing a new feature service or settings. In these cases, the data were saved by the server, but the server returned an unexpected response, such as an error message describing an unexpected SQL database error in the backend of a Portal implementation. In these cases the data have been saved correctly, but the error message causes MobileMap to believe that the data were not saved. Thus, MobileMap resends the data on the next upload

To determine which scenario above has caused the problem you are seeing, start by ensuring a strong WiFi connection and then re-upload within MobileMap. Note that may create another duplicate set of data. In scenario 1 above, if there are failed uploads on the system, they will successfully uploaded and thus no longer queued for upload. In this case the upload problem will be solved, but data will need to be cleaned up to remove duplicates (see below). In scenario 2 above, the data problem may still exist - and this should be seen in the upload report in the form of an error for one or more layer.

If the problem does still exist (scenario 2) then it can be helpful to export the MobileMap database and try to manually add the data to the feature layer. Using this manual approach, you may see a more detailed error that will help you understand what the data problem is and how to resolve it. If not, reach out to WSG support team to help resolve.

Once the source of the issue has been resolved, the duplicates will need to be removed. Start detecting the duplicates by looking for features with exact matches in their Unique_ID field. You can review these using ArcPro or other tools, or using a ‘find duplicates’ tool that WSG can enable on your InventoryManager (or other Spatial CMS) site. When enabled, this tool performs a statistical query of a feature layer to find all Unique_ID values with more than one instance, and retrieves the OBJECTIDs for all but the last instance. These OBJECTIDs can then be used to delete the duplicates.

 

Why is my Authentication Setting not “sticking”?

I filled in my AGOL username and password in the MobileMap Authentication Setting, but I still have to sign in to MobileMap every time I upload or download.

Check your username in the Authentication Setting and make sure there is not an extra space after your username in the setting. Some tablets and phones automatically add a space after words, including usernames and emails. To fix this open MobileMap Authentication Settings and the ArcGIS Username setting. Backspace over the extra space.

 

Why am I getting an upload error in MobileMap?

Error 1: Upload report show errors on one or more features.

If you get this message while trying to upload your data from MobileMap:

If you try adding the data from AGOL using the JSON backup text file you would get this error message:

Most likely there is a duplicate field name in the data being uploaded causing this error. Duplicate field names can be caused by adding the incorrect field names into some the MobileMap settings. This example below shows two ‘Observer' fields. One with a capital ‘O' and one with a lowercase 'o’:

This was caused when the user edited the setting for the ‘Observer Field’ and typed in the field name ‘observer’ instead of ‘Observer’ which is the actual field name. This caused MobileMap to add ‘observer’ to it’s internal database. When the user tried to upload, ArcGIS saw two fields with the same name and gave the ‘duplicate key’ error or ‘An item with the same key has already been added' message.

In this example, if the user had typed ‘Cruiser’ instead, it would have been ignored on the upload because the field ‘Cruiser’ is not part of the data model.

To find this error, the user exported the database from the Actions menu > ‘Export Database’ and sent the resulting JSON.txt file to their data administrator who was able to see the issue with the duplicate field name for ‘Observer’.

Once this has been created in MobileMap there is no easy way to undo it, especially if a user has collected 100’s of records that day. The solution:

  1. The user fixed their setting in MobileMap and

  2. The data administrator was able to clean up the text file and upload the data using the text file with AGOL’s rest end point.

To learn more about data backup and recovery go to

Error 2: An error occurred. Data may not have been uploaded as expected…

One scenario that can create this error is if you accidentally have two feature services selected - the one you are using to collect data and one that is NOT actually being used. While it is possible to utilize two (or more) feature services at the same time, they must all be initialized at the same time. When you select more than one feature service in the ‘Select Feature Services’ you will be presented with a warning message. If you ignore this warning but do not initialize the database, you may experience the error message above.

To resolve this error, open the Actions Menu (third tool button) and choose ‘Select Feature Service’. Inspect the list looking for multiple checked boxes. If you find that one or more feature services was selected in error, uncheck that checkbox and try to upload again.

If this does not resolved the upload error please contact your MobileMap support or submit a ticket via support@woodlandsg.atlassian.net.

Why are data that I deleted in InventoryManager still showing up in MobileMap, even after I downloaded to get my changes?

I collected data in MobileMap, uploaded those data, and then I edited my data in InventoryManager. During my edits, I updated some records, added some records, and deleted others. Then, I needed to go back out in the field, so I downloaded my changes in MobileMap. The data that were created or updated in InventoryManager showed up as expected, but data that were deleted in InventoryManager were still visible in MobileMap. I was expecting to see those data deleted in MobileMap as well. Why did this happen and what can I do to resolve this?

MobileMap uses separate upload and download actions, rather than Esri’s ‘sync’ functionality when updating data. MobileMap’s upload/download is better suited to poor internet connections and provides better control over data by separating into distance upload and download actions, but has one major difference from Esri’s ‘sync’. In MobileMap, data deleted in a feature service are NOT downloaded as changes. This means that data deleted in InventoryManager, ArcGIS Pro or other tools will still show up in MobileMap even after a download. When deletes must be ‘pulled’ down to MobileMap, it is necessary to re-initialize and re-download to synchronize MobileMap’s data with the data on the Feature Service. Given this limitation, some users choose to use InventoryManager as a read-only tool for data review but not editing, or to use InventoryManager for updates only (no deletes), and use MobileMap for edits or deletes, respectively. Similarly, some users allow editing/deleting in InventoryManager only for a subset of their users (e.g., staff but not contractors).

Default values in MobileMap or InventoryManager and ArcGIS Online

If you published your feature service from ArcPro either overwriting an existing service or publishing to a new service from an ArcPro map that was used previously to publish a feature service, try publishing from a fresh ArcPro project and publish to a new feature service not overwriting the existing one. Not ideal, but seems to resolve the issue. Clearing the cache in ArcPro or starting from a fresh map resolves the issue occasionally, but not consistently.

Similarly if you created your feature service by copying the item in AGOL or using ago-assistant to copy the service, it may appear that the defaults were copied, but you are not seeing them in MobileMap or InventoryManager when you create data. Try publishing for a fresh ArcPro project as recommended above.

Other solutions if the above does not work:

“… BUG-000144318 - When you publish a layer from ArcGIS Pro to ArcGIS Online that has default values set on at least one field and there are existing features the default values will not show up in ArcGIS Field Maps web app Smart Form Templates.

They[Esri] informed me of the following workaround:
You can export a FGDB in ArcGIS Online from the hosted feature layer that has these default values setup and then publish a new hosted feature layer copy from this FGDB. This copy will not exhibit the behavior. Note that this will be a distinct layer and will not have a service definition. Meaning that you can't overwrite it from ArcGIS Pro like the original layer.”

MobileMap Crashes When Editing Features or Saving Tree Table When Using a Settings File Copied from Other Service/Tablet

The settings file is a great way to ensure consistency with MobileMap configuration among your cruisers/field staff. Please see our MobileMap: Settings page for a detailed descriptions of the settings within MobileMap. Settings files can be published with the feature service or a side-loaded text file on the tablet. Many organizations share settings text files among user tablets and cruises and occasionally this leads to incompatible settings files being used and this can cause MobileMap to crash at various points in data editing. Here are some troubleshooting tips for a potentially incompatible settings file:

  • IMPORT SETTINGS and reset to defaults using the circle refresh arrows

  • Try editing a feature or the trees depending on what is causing the crash

    • Turn on MobileMap Cruise manually

    • The tree table may not be readable due to no tree ignore fields, but you can test the save at least

  • If nothing crashes start adding back in settings testing in between each such as:

    • Hidden Fields

    • Read-Only

    • Configurable Defaults if used

GPS Tracking Turns Off When Tablet Screen is Locked

The GPS tracking mode, in MobileMap, will stop tracking when the tablet screen is locked. This issue is related to increased security in newer Android versions. Google doesn’t want apps to track you in the background without asking your permission first. We are working to resolve this with a software update for MobileMap. Until then, you might find it useful to use a touch pocket protector and keep your screen open/unlocked like this one .

Note that although the touch protector is useful for locking the screen to prevent unwanted map taps, it does not help to preserve the battery, like shutting of the screen would.

For more information on GPS Tracking see .

 

MobileMap Does Not Recognizing Non-Standard Field Names

MobileMap uses default field names for fields as Unique_ID, Parent_ID. If you are using non-standard field names, even lowercase for these fields these will need to be changed in the settings on the tablet or in the settings imported from the feature service or settings text file. For a detailed list of defaults, please refer to the MobileMap settings .

The setup steps in MobileMap play an important role when changing the default field names on settings such as Unique_ID, Parent_ID, Stand_ID, Plot_ID, etc. After importing settings in MobileMap and MobileMap Settings open automatically. This ensures the settings are read by MobileMap. When changing default field names, especially, it may be necessary to also close the MobileMap app after importing the settings and before the initial data download. It has been noted in an few instances that the settings do not “stick” until the following steps are taken:

  • Initialize Database

  • Import Settings

    • Close MobileMap settings

  • Close MobileMap and Reopen from App Icon

  • Download Data

Tree Rows Hidden or Missing

This may occur during a Standard Cruise when collecting large numbers trees or during a Check Cruise when copying trees into Check Cruise due to the keyboard hiding the last few trees in the list or the number of tree rows is set too small. See the to help adjust the visibility of the tree list.

Maximum Number of Tree Rows
Select the maximum number of tree rows to display at any one time (fewer rows improves performance)

Tree List Keyboard Offsets

Optional offsets to prevent keyboard from hiding tree rows at the bottom of tree list. Only need on some devices where keyboard hides last trees in list. If a single value is listed, it will be used in both Standard and Check Cruise modes. If 2 values are listed as a comma separated list (e.g.,200,400) then the first value will be used in Standard mode and the second value in Check Cruise mode.

MobileMap Crashes When Zoom/Pan Map

This could be related to a corrupt TPK. A quick way to check this is to turn off all TPKs. Use the Select Layer Display Properties and uncheck all the layers ending in *.tpk. If this resolves the issue turn on the TPKs one a time to determine which one is the culprit.