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Configure location tracking

Location tracking is an organization-wide capability, providing the ability to record where users are and where they have been. The location tracking feature service stores tracked locations as point features in the scalable spatiotemporal big data store. The tracks are secure within the location tracking service: users only see their own tracks, with additional permissions required to view the tracks of others. The tracks can be used for situational awareness and for analysis to answer questions related to where users have been.

Tracker for ArcGIS empowers location tracking, using the location tracking service in two apps: the Track Viewer web app and the Tracker for ArcGIS mobile app. The Track Viewer web app enables administrators to create track views, defining who is tracked and who can view those tracks. The Tracker mobile app is optimized for tracking locations in the background, minimizing the impact on device battery. The mobile app records tracks whether or not there is a data connection, and gives mobile users control of when they are and aren't tracked.

As an administrator of your organization, you can enable location tracking for your members as follows:

  1. Verify that you are signed in as an administrator of your organization.
  2. At the top of the site, click Organization and click the Settings tab.
  3. Click Location Tracking on the side of the page.
  4. Click Enable Location Tracking.

    Your organization must have the spatiotemporal big data store (one of the types of data stores available through ArcGIS Data Store) configured.

  5. Configure the period of time for which tracks are retained. By default, they are kept for 30 days.
  6. Download and install Track Viewer for ArcGIS.

    This installs the Track Viewer web app, which allows administrators to share location tracks with other members of the organization. See View location tracks.

A location tracking service is created. As the administrator who enables tracking, you own the location tracking feature service. The Location Tracking folder that is created and that stores all items (services, layers, and views) needed for location tracking is in your content and owned by you. You, along with all administrators, can create track views using the Track Viewer web app, allowing others to view location tracks, but all such views are owned by you. You're the only administrator who can disable location tracking, although all administrators can pause it.

Manage location tracking

Once location tracking is enabled, administrators can manage it as follows:

  • Configure the period of time for which tracks are retained.

    Tracked locations older than the configured period of time are deleted from the location tracking service.

  • Pause location tracking.

    While location tracking is paused, the tracks remain but are read-only. No new tracks are collected, and mobile workers can't upload tracks to the location tracking service.

  • Disable location tracking.

    When location tracking is disabled, all items associated with location tracking (services, views, groups, and so on) are deleted. The privilege to view location tracks remains associated with any roles to which it was assigned. Only the administrator who enabled location tracking can disable it.

View location tracks

Some users who are not administrators need to view the location tracks of others, for example, supervisors or field crew chiefs. Viewing location tracks (other than their own) requires that a user have the view location tracks privilege and have track views shared with them. The view location tracks privilege is granted to administrators by default and can be added to custom roles. Track views are created in the Track Viewer web app by administrators. During creation, the administrator defines the users whose tracks are visible in the track view, as well as the users who have access to the track view (these users are called track viewers). Access to the track view is controlled through a group. When a track view is created, the Track Viewer web app also creates a group that provides access to that track view and adds the track viewers for that track view to the created group.

Track viewers use the Track Viewer web app or another map or app to open track views they can access.

Location track security

Location tracks are stored within your organization, and by default users can only see their own tracks. Users who need to see additional tracks must have the view location tracks privilege and be assigned to a group that contains the track view they need to access. Administrators (including the one who creates the location tracking service) can access all tracks in the service.

While tracks are collected using the Tracker mobile app, they are stored in an SQLite database on the mobile device. Each tracked location is created by the user signed in to the app, and editor tracking stores this information with the tracked location. When a user signs out of the Tracker mobile app, the SQLite database is removed. Other users who use the app on the device won't have access to the tracks of previous users.