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Collector for ArcGIS & Scale Dependency

Esri’s Collector App

Have you tried using Esri’s Collector app for GPS fieldwork yet? For the most part, it works like a charm and is the simplest Office-to-Field-to-Office workflow I’ve seen yet. Recently, however, I encountered a problem that nearly sank one of my project.

Scale Dependency on Your GIS Layers

Esri recommends setting scale dependency on your layers before sharing your map as a service. As part of the Collector workflow, I set scale dependency on a few of my layers for which I have existing features. This helps improve the performance of the service as you pan and zoom around your web map.

The Problem

In Collector, if you are not zoomed to the visible scale range of your scale-dependent layer(s) then the layers will not appear as collectable when using the Collect New Feature tool. It gives the impression that those layers are simply unavailable for collecting new features.

Once zoomed in to the visible scale range, the layers do appear as collectable. There is no visual indication of scale-dependency in Collector as there is in ArcMap and ArcGIS Online. If the field crew is not familiar with your Collector project’s settings, they may assume that the project isn’t working properly.

Let Me Show You…

In the video below, I’ll show you the problem and offer a suggestion for how to avoid it.