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It is such a welcome feeling knowing that you can pick up nearly any device, be it smartphone, iPad, Android device or full Windows tablet and venture into the field for attribute driven GIS data collection.  In some ways, it’s a little dangerous to give in to the temptation to use a smartphone to GPS map features that should actually be located at a higher accuracy.  In any event, cloud-based applications like Trimble TerraFlex are great tools for data collection given the multi-platform support and ability to easily replace many pen and paper workflows.

Amazingly enough, TerraFlex wasn’t born with Esri integration which created heartache despite its easy deployment and sweet interface for rapid data collection.   Luckily, TerraFlex is growing up quickly as evident in the recent addition of the ArcMap Plugin for full integration with an Esri file geodatabase.

With the new Esri Plugin you can leverage your existing geodatabase schema and deploy a form-driven TerraFlex mobile project from within ArcMap in a matter of minutes.  In the field or office (depending on Internet connectivity), the user logs in to their TerraFlex account and automatically receives new and updated projects.  In the field, data is collected quickly including pictures and uploaded to the TerraFlex server when Internet connectivity is available.  Back in the office, the data is downloaded from the TerraFlex Cloud directly into the file geodatabase.  It is really that simple!

It is difficult to discuss TerraFlex without bringing Esri Collector and ArcGIS Online into the picture.  Click here for a detailed comparison.  If you are looking to deploy a cloud-based mapping solution, make sure to have both of them at the top of your list.

The TerraFlex website has more details including the free, 30 day trial of the complete solution.

You can also contact the Frontier Precision sales rep in your area at Web Map.