Incorporating photos into your workflow

When you define photo options in the any of three wizards (Get Data for ArcPad, Configure project for geoprocessing, or Author project for ArcGIS Server), you will minimize the number of steps required to ensure that photos taken in the field, return to the desired location on your network.

The following diagram demonstrates where photos are located during a typical workflow and how they are moved.

Preparing data and photos for ArcPad

In order to use this recommended workflow for incorporating photos into your project, you must start by ensuring you have fields in your geodatabase to store a text string that will represent the photo path, and a location (local or network) where you intend to store and use your photos from. When photos are returned from the field you will then be able to use ArcMap hyperlink tools to view your photos.

In each of the three wizards

You will have the opportunity to nominate

If you define photo field(s) for a layer, only those fields will appear in the fields drop-down on the Picture tab of the Feature Properties dialog in ArcPad. This can be useful to ensure your users only add photos to the fields you nominate. Take care to ensure your field length is long enough to store the file name and full path.

If you define a folder for pictures to be copied to at check in, two key actions will occur at check in:

Stage 1 of the diagram above, represents the completion of one of the 'check out' wizards. When you complete the wizard, the resultant AXF will know which fields can accept photos and will contain the photo path, ready for use at check in time.


If you already have photos associated to features in your layer, a copy of these will NOT automatically be added to the check out folder. If you wish to take them into the field, you can manually copy them to your checked out folder.

In the field

In the field you can use either an integrated camera or separate camera to the data collection device to capture photos. For ArcPad to be able to display the photos in the field, they must be located in the same folder (on the same device) as the AXF. If a separate camera is used, you will need to copy them to the AXF location. Some examples of how to get photos in the same folder are:

Returning data and photos to your desktop or network

To check in field data, you must still first copy the data (AXF and photos) to a temporary location on your desktop or network. If you have been capturing photos on a separate device, and only entering the file name into the feature attribute in ArcPad, you can copy the photos from your camera directly to the temporary folder. (In the diagram above this is represented by the dotted line)

Stage 2 of the diagram above represents the copying of the field data to a temporary location ready for check in.

The Get Data for ArcPad wizard will automatically copy any photos found in the temporary ArcPad project folder, to the folder nominated during check in. If no folder was nominated, no photos will be copied.

Stage 3 of the diagram above, represents the check in process.