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Developer(s) ESRI
Stable release 10.2 / August 2013
Operating system Windows Mobile
Language Chinese (Hong Kong), [Chinese] (Simplified), Danish, Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Romanian, Spanish, Swedish
Type GIS
License Proprietary
Website ArcPad product page
ArcPad is a software package for mobile geographic information system (GIS) and field mapping applications. It provides field-based personnel with the ability to capture, analyze, and display geographic information in the form of industry-standard vector and raster image files, in near real time. Field data collection with ArcPad is efficient and accurate and it can integrate input from GPS receivers, rangefinders, and digital cameras.

ArcPad allows users to create and edit spatial data (points, lines, and polygons) using input from the mouse pointer, pen, keyboard, GPS, digital camera, or rangefinder. ArcPad includes editing tools for offsets, repeated attributes, segmented line features, snapping, and more. Users can record field sketches and notes into the data collection process with ArcPad. Sketches can be shared and exchanged as a graphics layer to and from ArcGIS for Desktop. These sketches can become part of the geodatabase and the project record. ArcPad can also act as a client to ArcGIS for Server or to ArcGIS Online.[1]

Who uses ArcPad

ArcPad is designed for organizations wanting to expand the benefits of GIS to workers in the field. Firefighters, police officers, utility workers, inspectors, soldiers, census workers, field biologists, and more use ArcPad to complete the following tasks [2] :

  • Field Mapping-Create, edit and utilize GIS data while in the field.
  • Assist Inventories-Create and maintain an inventory of asset location and attribute information.
  • Asset Maintenance-Update the location and condition of assets and schedule maintenance.
  • Inspections-Maintain digital records and locations of field assets for legal code compliance and ticketing.
  • Incident Reporting-Document the location and circumstances of incidents and events for further action or reporting.

The benefits of ArcPad:

With ArcPad, users can [3] :

  • Perform reliable, accurate, and validated field data collection.
  • Integrate GPS, range finders, and digital cameras into a GIS data collection.
  • Share enterprise data with field workers for updating and decision making.
  • Improve the productivity of a GIS data collection.
  • Improve the accuracy of the GIS database and make it more up-to-date.

ArcPad vs. ArcGIS for Windows Mobile application

ArcPad is a map-centric, Windows-based mapping and field data collection application designed for GIS-trained professionals in small- to medium-sized workgroups who typically perform ad-hoc data collection.[4] ArcPad includes advanced GIS/GPS editing functionality to facilitate post processing and also supports related tables.

On the other hand, ArcGIS for Windows Mobile application is a task-driven GIS application for Windows Mobile and Windows tablet devices.[5] ArcGIS for Windows Mobile is created for non-GIS professionals in medium to large organizations that typically perform simple data collection and field inspection projects. GIS information can also be synchronized from both server and desktop clients.

System Requirements

Example of ArcPad on a Dell Axim

The ArcPad is supported on the following platforms [6] :

Mobile Devices

  • Windows Mobile 5.0
  • Windows Mobile 6.0
  • Windows Mobile 6.1
  • Windows Mobile 6.5
  • Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 Classic
  • Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 Professional

Desktop Computers and Tablet-PCs

  • Windows XP
  • Windows Vista(32-bit and 64-bit version)
  • Windows 7(32-bit and 64-bit version)


  1. ArcPad. ArcPad. Esri. Accessed 5 June 2013
  2. ArcPad Brochure. ArcPad. Esri. Accessed 26 August 2013
  3. Functions of the ArcPad. ArcPad. Esri. Accessed 6 June 2013.
  4. ArcPad vs. ArcGIS for Windows Mobile Common questions. Common Questions. Esri. Accessed 26 August 2013.
  5. ArcPad vs. ArcGIS for Windows Mobile Common questions. Common questions. Esri. Accessed 26 August 2013.
  6. ArcPad System Requirements. ArcPad. Esri. Accessed 6 June 2013.

External links