Here are a few ArcPad Check Out and Check In Best Practices.  The steps are the same if you are using ArcPad Data Manager or Trimble GPS Analyst tool bar.

1. When deciding what data to check out keep it simple.  Why would you do this????

Consider the amount of data that you really need to update or collect brand new via the GPS unit:

  • Too many feature classes, fields and data can cause for slow performance on the hand held GPS unit.  Remember most GPS units have less than 300 MB of RAM.  Then consider what the processing power you are using on your PC/Laptop to run your Mapping software.  Unless you are using a tablet, toughbook or laptop as your data collector.
  • Uncheck Fields that pertain to the data base and others that are not needed for data collection.  The more fields that are checked out per the Feature Class the more “PAGES” the user has to toggle thru to get the important fields and or to the end.
  • Do you need certain Fields checked out because you may need to “Query” or filter by?
  • Too much data can confuse a worker and a feature that was not meant to be collected can be accidently edited and or collected.
  • Do I really need background images or background files to be checked out?  This can slow down the GPS unit and slow down productivity by the work too.  If so – then copy the back ground data to the data collector separate or to the SD card.
  • You can always turn off layers in ArcPad once you realize that their are to many etc.


2. When checking out the data keep a simple location on your local PC for your Check Out/In process.

  • Try not to bury your Check Out/In folder 5 deep or across a server where you might not always have access too.
  • Keep it on the C: “ArcPad Checout” or My Documents folder “ArcPad Checkout” for easy navigation to and from.
  • The Project Name and date can then be the name of the folder that will hold the “AXF” checkout.

3. When copying the “CheckOut” data to the GPS unit – copy the folder to the My Documents/My ArcPad folder.

  • This will allow for consistent checkout as this folder is the default location upon install of ArcPad to the data collector.
  • When you Save the data it will automatically save to the location that you opened the data from on the GPS unit.
  • Even though ArcPad “Auto Saves”  its not a bad idea to click save tool.
  • Save to the Hard Drive of the GPS unit.  The reasons why: 1. you are saving to Persistant Storage.  To many things can go wrong with saving to an SD card.  Only keep none esential data and layers on the SD card.  2. Read and Writing to Persistant storage is faster and 3. If something happens to the GPS unit (dropped, power issues, gets wet, gets run over) the data is on the Hard Drive not on a $20.00 SD card.  On some GPS units the SD door or cover is the weakest link for dust and water to enter in thru.
  • Turn off layers not needed while editing or collecting data to improve ease of use and performance.

4. When done with the data editing/collection for that day or week check the data back in.

  • If you are using Trimble GPS Analyst for post processing try to check data in often (no more than 2 days) as you can run the risk of not being able to differentially correcting your data if the same base station doesn’t have consecutive records of files available.  Also there is less of a chance of data corruption the sooner it is checked in.  Lastly – if you keep the data checked out more than 1 week via a Trimble GPS Analyst/GPS Correct session you will be warned if the GPS file goes into the next GPS Week.  Remember –  GPS is time stamped based off of Greenwich Time “Zero UTC”.  “0” is Sunday and “6” is Saturday as far as a GPS Week.  The start date of GPS time is January 6, 1980.
  •  Copy the folder form the My Documents/My ArcPad folder from the GPS unit and overwrite the folder on your PC.
  • Start an Edit Session if you checked out via ArcPad Data Manager
  • If you checked the data out via Trimble GPS Analyst then start an Edit Session within that tool bar.
  • Then the AXF Checkin Tool should light up and you can click on it and then browse to the folder on your PC to Check In your data.
  • Be sure to save you Edits.

For HELP – for ArcPad 10 see the following resources: