The GNSS metadata fields are not populating information about the receiver/location

Last Published: March 9, 2023


Esri Apps that utilize location use the location provided by the device's location services. What exactly this means depends on the device and its setup, but what is important to understand is that location services can determine position information from various sources, such as built-in GPS, cellular, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth networks.

​The location reported on the mobile device, and information added to the global navigation satellite system (GNSS) metadata fields, depends on the information available to the device. If the device doesn't have GPS, it uses a combination of cellular and wireless signals to determine location. If the device also doesn't have GPS or cellular service, wireless signals are used. GPS generally provides the most accurate location, and after that, Wi-Fi, and then cellular.


The GNSS metadata fields may be unpopulated, or partially populated, due to the type of location services used to gather the location. Here are some potential causes and things to consider:

  • GPS metadata fields are populated on point layers only.
  • If a point feature is created or updated by long-pressing the map (manually placed) instead of using GPS, the GPS metadata fields are empty or incomplete.
  • A GPS signal must be used to populate these fields. For example, they are not populated when connected to a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth network and a GPS fix is unavailable (such as when indoors).
  • If a point feature is created or updated and GPS metadata information is not available for the current GPS position, the GPS metadata fields are empty or incomplete.
  • GPS averaging fields are not populated unless averaging is set up in Collector
  • If adding fields manually, any fields not added are ignored
  • If you are not using a single fix (GPS only or an external receiver) the following fields may not be populated:
    • Horizontal accuracy
    • Vertical accuracy
    • PDOP
    • HDOP
    • VDOP
    • Fix type
    • Correction age
    • Station ID
    • Number of satellites

On Android, a mode for location can be selected (such as High-accuracy, Battery-saving, and Device-only). This changes what is used to calculate location and consequently what is populated in the GNSS metadata. High-accuracy (the default) uses GPS, Wi-Fi, cellular, and other available sensors through Google's Location service to get the highest-accuracy location. Battery-saving doesn't use GPS, using only Wi-Fi and cellular through Google's Location service. Device-only uses only GPS, turning off Google's Location service. Changing this value affects the location seen in the app. When connecting to an external receiver, ensure that Allow mock locations has been enabled.

Solution or Workaround

Capture locations using a single fix method, such as GPS-only or an external GNSS receiver to ensure all of the GNSS metadata fields are populated.

Article ID:000018008

  • ArcGIS Collector

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