Positions Enables ArcGIS for Windows Mobile for 3D!

Out-of-the-box, ArcGIS for Windows Mobile is a 2D data collection solution.  Although you can take 3D feature classes to the field (new at ArcGIS 10.1 / Mobile 3.0), you will only ever get X/Y values for them.

However, by adding Trimble Positions to the workflow, you can effectively turn ArcGIS for Windows Mobile into a 3D data collection solution.  In this workflow, you would start in ArcMap with your MXD and your 3D feature classes brought in as layers.  After GNSS-enabling your geodatabase and MXD, you would either use the geoprocessing tool to create a mobile cache or would share the data as a mobile service using ArcGIS for Server.  In Mobile Project Center you would add the cache (or the mobile service) as an operational layer and then proceed to configure your project (tasks, layers, fields, GNSS metadata transfer, accuracy thresholds, field configurations).  After saving the project and getting it out onto a mobile device, you would do field data collection as you always have.  Once that’s done, you would synchronize the data either manually via the geoprocessing tool or through the mobile service on ArcGIS for Server.  If you were to look at your newly collected data in ArcMap at that point, it would still be only 2D.  But once you checked for new sessions, post processed those sessions, validated the feature data, and updated the features, you’ll get 3D geometries for all of the points, lines, and polygons that you collected.  It’s in the ‘Update Features’ step where the Trimble Positions Desktop add-in will re-build your feature geometries with the corrected, 3D position data that was collected in the field and post processed in the office.  In fact, if you were comfortable with the accuracies collected in the field (i.e., you were using a real-time source such as VRS), then the post processing step is optional…you can go right to updating the features.

Food for thought…

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