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Collector for ArcGIS vs Mappt – Feature Comparison Table

Esri’s Collector for ArcGIS and Takor’s Mappt are both widely used mobile GIS applications – but which has more in depth features and which is better value for money?

Below is a side by side comparison of all the features of ArcGIS Collector and Mappt.

For a more in depth review of the components of the two apps visit our previous blog post here.

Mappt vs ArcGISCollector Esri - feature comparison table

Mappt mobile GIS was designed and created for the field.

The geologist, the farmer, the miner, the data collector – whoever you are, wherever you are, Mappt is for the user. We strive to be the best mobile mapping app on the market.

If you need a further explanation of some of the differences between Mappt and Collector for ArcGIS click here.

We’d love to know which you prefer Esri’s Collector for ArcGIS or Mappt? Do you agree with our table? Comment below, Like us on Facebook or email to contribute to the future of location technology.


*Mappt Elements™ for iOS is currently available with selected features. For more info please visit
NOTE: Mappt™ is in no way affiliated with Esri™ or Collector for ArcGIS™ in any way.


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Importing Shapefiles into Mappt

There are several options for importing Shapefiles into Mappt.  This post will cover the two most common ways: importing from your tablet’s local filesystem and importing from Google Drive.

We will also briefly touch on the Coordinate Systems supported by Mappt.

Importing from Local Filesystem

Mappt supports both internal and external (e.g. flash card) storage options, which can provide a convenient method of transferring data to tablets.

To copy files to the tablet, connect the tablet to your desktop or laptop computer via USB cable.  Note that you may need to install drivers onto your computer in order for your tablet to be recognised by your desktop machine.

Once connected, browse to the tablet from your computer.

Copy the files to the tablet, in an easy-to-remember place.  We suggest placing them into the tablet’s Downloads folder.  Be sure to copy all of the required files – Mappt requires the .shp, .shx and .dbf files to all be copied.

Once the files are on the tablet, you can import them into Mappt by tapping the Import button down the lower left:

Screenshot of the Import button in Mappt

Then tap Load DATA:


Then tap Load Dataset from Filesystem:


You can then browse to where you copied the files to, tapping the .shp file to import it into Mappt.

The dataset should then appear as a new layer in the Layer List on the left-hand side of the screen. Tapping the layer, or one of the contained features will zoom to the feature on the map.

The layout of the filesystems can vary greatly across tablet manufacturers, so you may have to hunt around to find your Downloads folder.  If you would rather not bother with filesystem layouts, you can use Google Drive instead.

Import from Google Drive

You can also open the files directly from Google Drive, by tapping the Import button, then selecting Load DATA, then Open From Google Drive, as seen in the following screenshot:

Screenshot of the Open From Google Drive button in Mappt

You may be prompted to specify which Google account you would like to access, as well as allowing Mappt to access your Google Drive account.  Mappt can only access your Drive files if you allow it.

Once you have permitted Mappt to access Google Drive, you will be presented with a familiar Open File dialog.  Navigate to where your Shapefile is stored, then open it by tapping the .shp file.  Mappt will download the necessary files and import the Shapefile into the project.

For convenience, any files downloaded from Google Drive will be placed into a Downloads folder within the Mappt folder (by default, located at /Downloads/Mappt).  This means that, once you have downloaded a file from Google Drive, you can re-import the file at any time without requiring an Internet connection – handy for working in the field.

Coordinate Systems Supported by Mappt

By default, Mappt supports data in the WGS84 format (albeit using decimal degrees as the unit).  When exporting your Shapefiles, we recommend using the format defined by EPSG code 4326.

Mappt also supports UTM formats (in decimal degrees units), which can be configured from the Settings dialog before you import the Shapefile, as seen in the following screenshot:

Screenshot of the Coordinate System setting in Mappt
The Coordinate System setting will apply when both importing and exporting Shapefiles.

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Mappt ECW and JP2 Support Demonstrated at HxGN Live

Would you like to see offline mobile imagery support for Mappt? You’re not the only one. Offline mobile imagery support, specifically ECW, is one of the most commonly requested features by many of our users.

Taking up the call, Mappt recently engaged with Hexagon Geospatial to prototype their new ECW/JP2 SDK for mobile platforms. This development is still in beta mode although an early version of Mappt was demonstrated at HxGN Live (Las Vegas, Nevada, from 2 – 5 June, 2014) in front of thousands of delegates.

Stage presentation at HxGN Live

Mappt with offline ECW and JP2 support will enable users to simply load and have imagery for their areas of interest at their fingertips while in the field. Using your own imagery as a core reference point, this allows you to ensure the data you are collecting reflects the surroundings you are in accurately.

We are excited to be working with Hexagon Geospatial in embedding ECW/JP2 support into Mappt. Expect this support to be released in early July 2014. For more information about Mappt visit our product site at

For more details on HxGN Live, see the website.

For more information on the Enhanced Compression Wavelet (ECW) file format, see here.

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Mappt now supports ArcGIS Compact Cache Bundles

We are pleased to announce that Mappt now supports ArcGIS Compact Cache Bundles.

Loading in your own satellite imagery is a common feature request for Mappt  and it’s not hard to see why.  Accessing your own imagery from a tablet gives GIS professionals and field workers the unprecedented power of being able to stand inside their data and perform ground surveys and analysis with total confidence they are looking at the correct features.  The inclusion of Compact Cache bundles is one of several new features that allows loading of custom imagery into Mappt and at the time of writing we are the only option outside of ESRI to utilize this format.  Mappt has been tested on the Sony XPeria Z with 30Gb of imagery and we have found the only limitation is the amount of free space on the SD card.


Compact Cache Bundles are a convenient format for tiled Imagery.   The biggest advantage of compact caches over an exploded format is that it eliminates the overhead associated with thousands of little files which means faster file transfer times and less space on disk.  This is a huge deal when transferring several Gigabytes worth of imagery onto a tablet.

Behind the scenes compact cache bundles act like a phone book.


Up to 16,000 tiles for a particular level of detail are conglomerated into a single file with a .bundle extension.  This file has a companion with a .bundlx extension that acts like an address book for tiles.   Looking up the address for a tile has some computational overhead compared to an exploded format but fortunately we were able to optimize it to the point where there is no impact on Mappt’s performance.