Recommended Mobile GIS Data Collection Apps

25 Aug 2021

Note: This information is only provided as a general reference and does not imply that Juniper Systems will be able to provide full support for any specific third-party software application for use with our products.

Need help sifting through all your options for mobile GIS data-collection apps?

We asked our experts to curate a shortlist for you. And then we asked them why they chose each app and what makes it unique.

For example, any GPS or GNSS app is only as accurate as the receiver it's connected to. Most professionals using these apps are in need of better-than-cell-phone-accuracy. That's why you'll notice that nearly all the apps in this list can connect directly with an external GPS receiver like the Geode Real-time Sub-meter GPS Receiver. Without this feature, the app has to use OS location services, which puts the accuracy of your data at risk

If you have questions about a particular app, feel free to contact a Juniper Systems representative


1. Uinta

Uinta is a powerful hassle-free data collection software by Juniper Systems. Uinta’s data collection tools include detailed mapping with points, lines, areas, and form-based notes for digital recordkeeping. Switch between maps and forms seamlessly, and create all your reports in Uinta, without ever needing to export to another app. 

Uinta also includes a high level of customization specific to any organization’s data collection needs. This makes Uinta a go-to mapping and data collection software. Uinta is available for Windows 10 devices, making it the best mapping software available for field crews taking advantage of the power of a full desktop OS on tablet computers. 


2. ArcGIS Field Maps

ArcGIS Field Maps is Esri’s new all-in-one mobile client. It combines the features of ArcGIS Collector, ArcGIS Explorer, and ArcGIS Tracker. With the familiar look and feel of Collector, this data collection app allows you to collect points, lines, areas, and other related data. You can track users, view and mark up maps, take notes using smart forms, and add photos and videos to existing maps online and offline. 


3. ArcGIS Survey123

ArcGIS Survey123 by Esri is a form-based data collection software that turns field observations into actionable information. You can publish surveys into ArcGIS that you or your team can access on a job site with a web or mobile device. Data from the surveys are sent instantly and integrated into ArcGIS for real-time monitoring by decision-makers. If there’s no internet access, the data can be downloaded later.


4. OnPOZ Collect or EZSurv

OnPOZ Collect by Effigis is the app of choice for work applications requiring highly accurate post-processed GNSS data. Compatible with EZSurv post-processing software, OnPOZ Collect is preferred if you don’t have a real-time GNSS solution, want to reference a known base station, or want to improve the reliability, consistency, and integrity of your positioning data—for any reason. Create and manage projects and user accounts with a companion OnPoz Cloud account. After collecting and processing your data, you can export it into standard formats to be used and analyzed in other apps. 


5. Mapit Spatial

Mapit Spatial by mapitGIS is a lightweight field data and survey collection app. It allows you to organize data into editable layers, choose from various map projections, and connect directly to an NTRIP service. Mapit Spatial builds on the features of its predecessor, MapitGIS Pro, and adds an open-source architecture with the OGC GeoPackage (.gpkg) file format for storing spatial data. Each GeoPackage is an SQLite database that can be opened natively in QGIS or ArcGIS Pro. 


6. MapItFast

MapItFast by AgTerra is a standalone mapping product for mobile devices designed to be simple and easy to use in the field. Its “One Tap to Map” functionality allows users to quickly record GPS points or hand draw maps without GPS. MapItFast comes in free and professional versions. The professional version adds a browser-based console and the ability to export maps into industry-standard shapefile (.SHP), KMZ, and GPX formats.  


7. SW Maps

SW Maps by Softwel is a beginner-friendly mobile GIS data collection app. The app uses Google Maps or OpenStreetMap as a background layer. You can make layers and categorize information with text, numbers, custom shapes, colors, and photos. You can record GPS tracking information, measure distance, and easily share and export the data. Plus, it allows you to download an unlimited number of maps for offline use. 


8. QField

QField is the mobile client for the professional QGIS open-source project. If you’re looking for flexibility, this is the app for you. QField supports many GIS data formats. With the QField Synchronization tool you can bring your QGIS projects into the field. And the code is open. It’s supported by a large community of developers, so if there’s a feature you need but can’t find, adding it to QField may be your best option.  

It’s also free—with no ads. Paired with QGIS Desktop, it’s a full-service mapping solution without the expensive licensing fees or subscriptions. Available for beta testers: QFieldCloud supports cloud data synchronization and offline data capture. 


9. CyberTracker

CyberTracker by CyberTracker Conservation is a free, graphics-based data collection app that is icon-based. Originally designed for indigenous trackers in Africa that couldn’t read or write, this app has evolved to include more general-purpose data collection and is now used worldwide. It boasts an Icon User Interface that enables users to collect data faster and more accurately than text interfaces.


10. GPS Fields Area Measure

GPS Fields Area Measure by Farmis is a simple area, distance, and perimeter measurement mobile app. The user-friendly app allows you to name, save, group, and edit measurements with GPS marking and tracking. Plus, it comes with a helpful undo button for accidental or bad measurements.

The app is free to download but offers in-app purchases for a professional or ad-free version.


11. Mobile Data Collection

Mobile Data Collection by GIS Cloud is part of a start-to-finish GIS solution that focuses on ease of use and quality control, as well as team and asset management. Collect points, lines, and polygons; monitor assets with smart forms; or sync data and send it to the appropriate team members for real-time visualization and collaboration. To edit and analyze your maps, choose between GIS Cloud’s Map Editor or QGIS Desktop via an app plugin.  


12. Global Mapper Mobile

Global Mapper Mobile by Blue Marble Geographics is a powerful GIS software that gives you tools built for beginners and experts. Its mobile data collection tools let you read, save, change, and explore data. It supports nearly every spatial file format. Plus, the desktop Global Mapper software includes advanced tools for terrain analysis and Lidar processing.


13. MapSmart

MapSmart by LaserSoft differentiates itself with its interface for laser range finders. This key feature is especially useful if you need to map points close to tall buildings that would interfere with satellite signals. Instead of calculating an offset for each point, you can use the laser range finder to locate the exact point while you keep your GPS receiver in full view of the sky. 

14. Mergin Maps

Mergin Maps is a mobile mapping software. This app allows you to create projects, collect and store data, take photos, and scan barcodes or QR codes. It works offline and it's also compatible with existing QGIS projects.