I am currently working on a way of efficiently displaying information relating to tree inspections (using ArcGIS Desktop to then upload onto arcgis online so that the data can be accessed and added to on the collector app). The end goal is to be able to access all past inspections relating to a tree on the collector app and add new inspections through the app.

I want to form a 1:many relationship class between a point feature (the tree) and inspections.

I know this is possible, however, I am not sure how to format the data I have so that I am able to form the relationship. I currently have 3 years worth of inspection data, but each set of data has its own shapefile layer for trees.

How do I go about formatting the data so that I can create a 1:many relationship?

  • 1
    What software(s)? What end goal?
    – inc42
    Sep 15, 2019 at 19:37
  • Using arcgis desktop to then upload onto arcgis online to use on the collector app. End goal is to be able to view inspection data when out in the field and add a new inspection related to a specific tree when out in the field. E.g. A tree has had 3 previous inspections - when you are out and about, you can see the data of the previous inspections. As you inspect the tree, you can add the data which is then related to the tree.
    – Mima Letts
    Sep 15, 2019 at 19:37
  • 1
    Please Edit the question in response to requests for clarification. A diagram image might help convey your purpose.
    – Vince
    Sep 15, 2019 at 19:48
  • The easiest way to achieve this data structure might be by creating your feature service using Survey123
    – Anneka
    Oct 3, 2019 at 8:14

1 Answer 1


Your tree data should be in a single feature class of trees. One point feature for each tree. There should be a primary ID attribute of some kind (eg, TreeID, or GlobalID) to uniquely identify each tree. (I would avoid using the built-in ObjectID).

Your inspection data should be in a (non-spatial) table. Each inspection should include the same TreeID attribute field as the tree feature class. However, you may have multiple inspections with the same TreeID values.

Use the TreeID attributes between the two tables (trees and inspections) to define the relationship between the two (either in a Relationship Class, or simply in a Join or Relate).

For use in Collector, you will need to create a Relationship Class between the two based on the TreeID field in each. Then make sure that your map service includes both the Tree feature class and the Inspection table. Collector will then take care of the rest, allowing you to create a new inspection for an existing tree, and to view old inspections for a tree.

The difficulty that you may face is how to massage your existing data into this format. If you need help with this, you should ask a separate question, including details of the schema of your existing data (and perhaps a few examples of the feature attribute table).

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