I am a GIS specialist for an engineering company and I am setting up Arc Collector on ipads for field workers. The field workers go to residential properties and collect soil samples. Each property has an ID that starts with "PIA0" followed by a unique four digit number, such as "PIA01123". They will be using the software to create a point for each sample they collect. Each point will be labeled like so: start with the ID # and finish with a number based on the number of samples they collected. For example, the first point they create on a property with the ID "PIA00555" will have the label, "PIA00555-01", the next point they create will be "PIA00555-02", and so on. Usually they have 10 samples per property and thus would create 10 points in Arc Collector.

I am trying to make the field crews spend as little time as possible using the keyboard on the ipad for efficiency, so I don't want them to manually enter the ID every time they create a point. Is there a way to autopopulate the unique ID every time the field workers create a point? I have a shapefile that represents parcels of every property we are sampling that includes the address along with other information, but not the ID I mentioned earlier. My only solution to this problem I came up with is to enter the ID for every property and create a field that == the ID plus the sequential number, but since there are over 10,000 properties, I don't have time to do that. I feel like there is a python script that creates something like this, but my knowledge of python is limited.

  • I do it after survey completion. Very basic function.
    – FelixIP
    Jun 9, 2016 at 19:46
  • Yes, post processing is best. You could use a relationship between parcel and survey point to keep things neat and user friendly in Collector. Jun 10, 2016 at 3:26

1 Answer 1


If you have a bar code on the features with each of these unique IDs you could use a Bluetooth bar code scanner which can be used along with your iOS and Android device to scan the bar codes and auto-populate a field that way.

For auto-incrementing attributes, this is not supported in Collector today but it is on the teams to-do list.

  • I did some similar tests with reference fields pointing either to objectid or the globalid field and a predefined relationship class (1:n). It's working on the portal but when i try to open it on ArcGis Desktop i got an error coming from a GUID field in the data table (see esri collector example Hydrant Inspections). Are there any improvements since last year?
    – hotbrain
    May 23, 2017 at 10:50
  • Welcome to GIS SE! As a new user be sure to take the Tour. Here you are trying to ask an update in the area reserved for direct answers to the original question, and so your post would normally be deleted. In this instance I'll convert it to a comment on the post that I think you intended it to address.
    – PolyGeo
    May 23, 2017 at 11:23

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