The ArcPad Team Blog

Unofficial stuff from the team behind the World's leading mobile GIS platform

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Code Review - History Tool from ArcWatch

We just wanted to say thanks to Mel Yuanhang Meng for posting an excellent, practical solution using ArcPad to increase effiency in building surveys. After reading through the article we noticed that the sample was written using shapefiles. Come on Mel, don’t you know that “the AXFs are the future” (didn’t Michael Jackson sing something about that?).

So after creating an AXF from the sample data, I copied the editform from the .APL and pasted it into the AXF Parcel Layer APL. Then I created a jscript file for the AXF and copied the code straight in and added the script to the event. Everything worked as it should, but upon further investigation we noticed some inconsistencies. The code itself works great if you are editing a feature that has never been surveyed before, however if you did want to edit a feature that already has attributes, then the code will run but it may not populate all the fields (have something set to “good” or “yes” on the feature you are editing to see what I mean).

The reason I bring this up is that if, like all good ArcPad hacks, you will probably take this code and try and implement it yourself but in a slightly different manner. For example you may want to use this on a related tables form that you have created as the out of the box repeated attributes tool doesn’t work on them – yet. So what’s the fix I hear you ask. Well quite exquisitely simple. There is a line of code asking an “IF” statement: if (ctls.Item(j).ListIndex). What do you notice about that line of code?

That’s right, the question isn’t asking for a proper answer such as “if ( != Gareth)”. Therefore if there is a value in the ListIndex it cannot compute and finishes the routine. So then, the answer is, get the question asking for a value by changing it to: if (ctls.Item(j).ListIndex != null). Now run the code in that same example and you will see all the values change as they would on a new survey.

Hopefully you find this of use in upcoming projects and thank you again to Mel for publishing his content and sharing it - excellent to see people making cool customizations that help improve people’s daily routine. So don’t be shy! Post your code on ArcScripts so all can benefit.

A note from our sponsor:

We noticed also that at the very beginning of the fill_form function that there is a variable called pgs and it’s reference was ThisEvent.Object.Parent.Parent.Pages; I would just like to add that this works fine but if anyone is going to implement this, you may like to read the Customizing ArcPad Help documentation (nice plug) whereby you reference the object and the form separately. We feel it would be easier to read and also you can create other controls based on the orignial control (see below).

Dim theControl, allControls, theForm
Set theControl = ThisEvent.
Set allControls = theControl.Parent.Controls
Set theForm = theControl.Parent.Parent

You can now easily get or set the values of other controls on the page, as well as the control responding to the event, as in the following example:

Dim value1, value2, value3
value1 = theControl.Value
value2 = allControls("TextBox1").Value
value3 = allControls("ComboBox1").Value

Happy Mapping!

ESRI and Trimble 2009 Mobile Government Grant Series

Redlands, California: ESRI, the world leader in geographic information system (GIS) software, and Trimble, a world leader in providing Global Positioning System (GPS) solutions, have launched the 2009 Mobile Government Grant Program. Grants will award hardware, software, and training with a value of $89,980 to 20 state and local government agencies in the United States.

Here is an opportunity to access Trimble hardware with full ArcPad 8 license incorporating ArcPad Studio, training and technical support to enhance your mobile programs and get them in the field.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Oman’s Building and Establishment Census to use Archer Field PCs with ESRI ArcPad

July 13, 2009 - The General Census of Population, Housing and Establishments will be conducted in April 2010 in the Sultanate of Oman. The difference this time round to the last census in 2003 is that GIS technology from ESRI and mobile devices – the Archer Field PC from Juniper Systems, Inc., are being utilized in an effort to efficiently and accurately capture required data.
“GIS is playing an increasing role in our daily lives and I see the great benefits for using it in our census collection efforts” says Ali Mahboob Al Raisi, Director General of Census. “Through the use of a mobile GIS solution being developed for us by ESRI Muscat, we anticipate reducing our survey of buildings and establishments in the Sultanate from 2 years down to just 4 months”.
The aim of the building and establishment survey is to identify every building, unit, household and establishment in the Sultanate, and collect specific information that will be used to aid the population census enumerators in their collection activities during the population census being conducted in April 2010. There are an estimated 450,000 buildings located in some 5,500 localities across the country, some being very remote and only accessible by foot.
CEO of ESRI Muscat Philip Burden says “we undertook research of available mobile devices when preparing our proposal and chose the Juniper Systems’ Archer Field PC because of its ruggedized characteristics, long battery life on a single charge and large screen, qualities that were essential for this undertaking. Bundled with ESRI’s ArcPad 8.0 this enables us to quickly customize applications to fit census requirements and get field collectors into the field”.
A total of 29 regional offices will be established around the Sultanate from where teams of field collectors (Data Leaders, Field Collectors and QC Collectors - 371 in all) will visit each building and establishment. A total of 401 Archer Field PCs were purchased, 30 initially to be held as spares, but indications are that these too will be used. Loaded with ArcPad 8.0, custom forms and GPS, the Archer Field PCs will be used to locate the buildings to be visited, record locations of buildings not previously recorded, and track the movement of field collectors.
On a daily basis, data from the regional offices will be transmitted via secure means to the data center in Muscat where the central GIS database will be updated and various progress reports produced which will enable management to monitor the progress of the surveys and the individuals collecting the information. At the conclusion of the survey, statistics will be produced and made available to senior government leaders in a matter of hours, something which in the past took weeks to collate and prepare. The GIS data will then be used as foundation data for the population census in April 2010.
Solution Concept The screen shots below show a building survey form prepared during demonstration of concept earlier this year. This interface was developed using ArcPad 7.1 and shows the use of Arabic forms.
The user interfaces for the final deployed building survey forms will utilize ArcPad 8.0. An example of the towns information screen is shown below. The interface will be bilingual (English and Arabic).

The project will rely on the comprehensive Geodatabase already existing in the GIS Department of the Ministry covering all towns and villages in Oman. Data for the project will flow from the central GIS Data Center in Muscat out to 29 GIS Regional Offices. From here it is extracted onto field PCs equipped with GPS. Field collectors visit buildings and establishments and enter/update information. This is then checked back in at the Regional Office and subsequently transferred to the Data Center where progress reports are issued to monitor the progress. At the conclusion of this phase of the project, collected data will be used as a base for the population census in April 2010. The below figure shows the data flow.

For more information about the census project, contact Ali Mahboob Al Raisi, DG of Census at
About Juniper Systems
Headquartered in Logan, Utah, USA. Juniper Systems, Inc. provides innovative field computing solutions designed for rugged applications. Juniper Systems designs and manufactures rugged handheld computers serving applications including: mobile GIS, agriculture, industry, natural resources, and asset management. Juniper Systems rugged mobile devices feature Windows Mobile operating system, full seal from water and dust (IP67) plus integration with GPS. See the full product line at
About ESRI Muscat
Since 1989, ESRI Muscat has been offering clients a wide range of ESRI (and related third-party) GIS products as well as implementation services, consulting, raining and technical support, to help clients derive the most out of their investment in geospatial information and its management. The company derives its strength from the expertise of its highly skilled employees, and is continually building upon their knowledge and experiences to ensure that they stay at the forefront of ever changing industry of GIS. Our vision is ‘Spatial Empowerment’. To learn more about how we can help you, visit
ESRI and ArcPad are trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks of ESRI in the United States, the European Community, or certain other jurisdictions.
Archer Field PC, Juniper Systems, and the company logo are registered trademarks of Juniper Systems, Inc. in the United States.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Time is running out to register for ArcPad 8 training at the NW GIS User Conference

GeoMobile Innovations is offering the 2-day ArcPad 8 Bootcamp at the NW GIS User Conference as a pre-conference workshop on October 12-13, 2009.

You must be registered for the conference in order to sign up for this pre-conference workshop. The cost of the conference is $350 ($200 for one day only) and the cost of the Bootcamp is $595.

Register now at:

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