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Configure location tracking

Location tracking is an organization-wide capability, allowing you to record where users are and where they have been. When you enable location tracking, licensed users in your organization can use either the Tracker mobile app or the Field Maps mobile app to upload their locations to the location tracking layer. Users only see their own tracks, and additional permissions are required to view the tracks of others.

Once location tracking is enabled, administrators can use the Track Viewer web app to share last known location and track data with other users in the organization by creating track views. Track views define which users have tracks included in the view and who can view those tracks. Both the Tracker mobile app and the Field Maps mobile app are optimized for tracking locations in the background, minimizing the impact on device battery. The mobile apps record tracks whether or not there is a data connection and provide mobile users with control of when they are and are not tracked.

As an administrator of your organization or member with the correct privileges, you can enable location tracking for your members as follows:

  1. Verify that you are signed in to your organization as a default administrator or custom role with administrative privileges to manage utility services settings.
  2. At the top of the site, click Organization and click the Settings tab.
  3. Click Organization extensions 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 you want to keep the tracks.

    By default, they are kept for 30 days.

A location tracking layer is created. As the administrator who enables tracking, you own the location tracking layer. The Location Tracking folder that is created and that stores all items (layers, views, and so on) 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 that tracks are kept.

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

  • Pause location tracking.

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

  • Disable location tracking.

    When location tracking is disabled, all items associated with location tracking (layers, 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

While mobile users can only see their tracks, other users who are not administrators—such as supervisors and field crew chiefs—need to view the tracks of others. A track view contains the last known locations and tracks of a set of mobile users. Anyone with the privilege to view location tracks and access to a track view can view the tracks of the specified mobile users.

The privilege to view location tracks is granted to administrators by default and can be added to custom roles. Administrators create track views in the Track Viewer web app, defining the mobile users whose tracks are included in it. The administrator also adds the track viewers who can see the last known locations and tracks of the included mobile users. When a track view is created, an associated group that controls access to the track view is also created. Adding track viewers to the track view adds them to the group.

Once track viewers have access to location tracks, they can view them in the Track Viewer web app or another map or app. Track Viewer provides an overview of the last known locations and the tracks of mobile users and allows the track viewer to do simple filtering and analysis. Add the hosted feature layer view of the tracks to your own map or app for a more complete picture of the locations of your mobile users and where they've been in relation to other assets and information important to you. You can also use the tracks for advanced analysis in ArcGIS. See View tracks in Track Viewer and Use tracks for details.

Location track security

Location tracks are stored in your organization. With ownership-based access control enabled on the location tracking layer, 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 layer) can access all tracks in the layer.

While tracks are collected using either the Tracker mobile app or the Field Maps 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 Tracker or Field Maps, the SQLite database is removed. Other users who use the app on the device don't have access to the tracks of previous users.


To learn more about deploying cloud and enterprise GIS in a manner that helps comply with privacy regulations, such as GDPR, for location tracking services, see ArcGIS Location Tracking Privacy Best Practices.