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For More Information:

Christopher Benson
TIPS Mobile Computing Support Program
(303) 293-5085

TIPS Helpline:
(303) 293-5080

Contact OSMRE


Software Support Team: Mobile Computing


GPS Trimble ProXRT Receivers: OSMRE has obtained several of the ProXRT systems with OmniStar G2 subscription correction capabilities. These units are capable of achieving subdecimeter (10 cm / 4 inches) horizontal accuracy. Please contact Min Kim at for unit availability, to borrow or for project assistance.

Team Members

The TIPS Mobile Computing (MC) Team/Workgroup includes members from the States and OSM who experienced in the use of MC software, hardware, and peripherals. The MC Team has the authority and responsibility for recommending MC policy and decision-making concerning the use and implementation of MC technology for the TIPS program. All members of the team are responsible for prototyping, customer support, course development, and instruction of MC courses and workshops.

Kim, Min OSMRE-MCR (618) 463 - 6463 x5151
Benson, Chris OSMRE-WR (303) 293 - 5085
Brandt, Jon TX (512) 305 - 8825
Bright, Leslie VA (276) 523 - 8191
Calabrese, Julian MT (406) 444 - 4276
Joannes, Aubry OSMRE-MCR 618-463-6463 ext 5152
Kirkham, Russ AK (907) 269 - 8634
Sieving, John OSMRE-WR (307) 261 - 6541


ArcPad - Easy to use geographic tools running on highly mobile computers, such as Pocket PCs, Laptops, and tablet PCs. ArcPad provides mapping, GIS, GPS integration, and improved data collection for field users.

PathFinder Office - Assists in interpreting, correlating, and plotting GPS unit data.

Installation Instructions

Links to the TIPS pages for each software package and installation instructions for the latest versions of Mobile Computing (MC) Software are linked below. For additional help, contact Min Kim at

ArcPad Installation Instructions (pdf, 13 KB)

Pathfinder Office Installation Instructions (pdf 99 KB)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below are some common questions we get from our GIS users.
Click the arrow to the left of the question to expand the answer.

  • How can I get started with ArcPad?

    • You can use the QuickProject tool to create a ready-to-use data capture project.
    • QuickProject enables you to take ArcPad into the field, with or without preexisting data, and quickly start capturing data into new shapefiles. When you choose New QuickProject, with only two screen taps you can create ArcPad map, point, polyline, and polygon shapefiles with custom input forms and editable category values that can then be changed dynamically in the field.
    • In addition, a collection of ArcPad templates is available as a starting point for creating your own ArcPad project. The templates highlight specific applications of ArcPad technology to solve industry problems. These templates vary from tools to applets to forms, all of which illustrate the practical benefits of ArcPad.
  • What data formats does ArcPad support?

    • ArcPad supports vector map and raster image display, which includes industry-standard data formats:

      1. ESRI shapefiles
      2. ArcPad graphics
      3. ArcPad photo layers
      4. Images – MrSID (MG2 and MG3), Jpeg, Jpeg 2000, TIFF, GIF, PNG, Windows bitmap, CADRG and ArcIMS image services via internet.
  • What GPS receivers does ArcPad support?

    • ESRI does not publish a list of supported GPS receivers for ArcPad. However, ArcPad supports the following protocols for communicating with GPS receivers:

      1. National Marine and Electronics Association (NMEA) 0183, version 2.0
      2. Trimble Standard Interface Protocol (TSIP)
      3. Rockwell PLGR Protocol
      4. Delorme Earthmate
  • Can I customize ArcPad?

    • ArcPad users are able to customize ArcPad and build focused applications using ArcPad Studio. Developers can build focused applications within the desktop environment and deploy them on numerous ArcPad devices in their organization. ArcPad Studio is free with ArcPad 8.0.
  • What is ArcPad Studio?

    • ArcPad Studio is the desktop customization application included with the latest version of ArcPad software, ArcPad 8. All customization for ArcPad is performed on the desktop, primarily using ArcPad Studio, and deployed with ArcPad on the mobile device. ArcPad Studio gives users the tools to customize ArcPad but is not required to utilize a customized version of ArcPad.
  • How do I deploy the custom applications I create for ArcPad?

    • The customization files (applets, extensions, default configurations, and layer definition files) can be deployed to any, ArcPad user. No special ArcPad runtime is required. Simply copy the customization files to the appropriate folders on the end user's device. More advanced installations can be created if necessary.
  • How can I extend the functionality of ArcPad?

    • ArcScripts has numerous templates and scripts that have been created for ArcPad. These range from adding functionality to streamlining processes. The ArcPad Templates pages have been created as a resource for downloading a variety of industry-focused applications.
  • Can you explain the difference between ArcPad and ArcGIS Mobile GIS solutions?

    • Because these technologies run on handheld devices under the same Windows mobile environment and support some of the same functionality, they are often confused. Both of these technologies boost mobile productivity and are used to support GIS professionals and their field efforts. However, they are built with different code bases and are different in their deployment and application.
    • ArcPad is an efficient GIS solution for mobile applications and field data collection; it provides dozens of tools for mapping, query, field editing, and analysis. It operates entirely in a disconnected environment where users download information from ArcGIS Desktop; take information out into the field; and, upon return, upload the edits and collected data to the desktop. ArcPad can also be customized for specific field tasks or projects.
    • By contrast, ArcGIS Mobile is used to build and deploy custom mobile applications and is installed as a part of ArcGIS Server. ArcGIS Mobile is designed to support specific field workflows. Work done in the field can be published and made instantly available to the entire organization. ArcGIS Mobile is considered an enterprise application because it synchronizes directly with an enterprise server.
    • ArcGIS Mobile is used to develop focused applications. It is also a platform for real-time tracking where users can build an application that tracks the location of mobile workers from a central server environment (e.g., to create and share a common operating picture). One can easily imagine how an organization with many field-workers may wish to track the workers’ locations as well as receive input and observations from their field activities.
  • Are there instructions for the Trimble ProXRT?

  • Are there instructions for charging the battery for the Trimble ProXRT?

  • Are there instructions for charging the battery for the Nomad?

Additional Resources

The TIPS Mobile Computing Team has put together the following lists of vendors, reports, and other resources.



AECI Fescue Mitigation (pdf, 36 KB)

Kansas Wetland Determination (pdf, 33 KB)


The Mobile Computing Geekosphere

Page Last Modified/Reviewed: 7/6/17

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