Configure Feature Templates

Configuring the Feature Templates in the Edit Project is a crucial step towards ensuring all data is properly attributed. Many fields can be set to defaults that will populate automatically in most cases, saving time, and improving consistency.

The standardized attributes of the Event Schema serve as Feature-Level Metadata. Wildland fire is rapidly becoming an enterprise environment with distributed data and aggregated services. GIS data must be identifiable down to each feature in such a system so that users know crucial information such as currency and source.

Utilizing the Feature Templates is the best practice for automatically populating attribute with default values for several reasons:

  1. The Event Schema should not be modified, including database defaults.
  2. There may be multiple editors on an incident.
  3. Feature Templates will not transfer with the GDB when sharing or transitioning.

Esri Feature Template Documentation

Configure Feature Template Video

Feature Templates should be configured in the Edit Project before making any edits.

  1. On the Create Features pane or from the Features section of the Edit Ribbon tab, click the Manage Templates button.

    From the Edit Ribbon tab, go to the Create Features section.

    Select manage templates.
  2. Select Event Point and use the Shift key or Ctrl-A to select all the features, then click Properties.

    Select the event point and use the shift key to select all features, then click properties.
    In the properties window select Attributes.
  3. Work down the attribute list, filling in, or adjusting the values using the Configuring Feature Template Defaults table below as a reference. This will set the default values for all Point features created in this map.

    The checkbox to the right of each attribute is for prompting collection of that attribute upon feature creation. See the Configuring Feature Template Attribute Prompts table below.

    Resulting configured attributes.

Configuring Feature Template Defaults

Field AliasDefault Value
Incident NameSet default as the name of the fire incident ( e.g., Badger ).
Map MethodLeave as Mixed Methods or Set to Phone/Tablet if you expect most data to be submitted through Collector.
Repair StatusLeave as is (Unknown) or set to Repair Needed if you expect most features to require repair.
IRWINIDSet default to the IRWIN ID* (see below) for the incident (e.g., {1FB08B10-42C4-4FAB-86C4-CEF95CC3B15C}).

Configuring Feature Template Attribute Prompts

Event FeatureRecommended Attribute Prompts
Event PointLabel, Map Method, Comments, Angle, Repair Status, Repair Comments, Point Name, Point DateTime, ElevationFeet.
Event LineMap Method, Comments, Repair Status, Repair Comments, Line DateTime, Line Width Feet.
Event PolygonMap Method, Comments, Polygon DateTime.


  1. Repeat the previous steps for Event Line and Event Polygon.
  2. Once the Feature Templates for each of the Event Feature Classes are configured, it is best practice to save a layer file as a backup. A layer file will store both the symbology and, more importantly in this case, all the incident-specific template settings just configured.
    1. Right-click the Event Group – All Layers group layer in the Contents pane and select Save as a Layer File under Sharing.

      Save the file to the incident_data folder following the GeoOps naming convention:
      {year}_{incident name}_{unit ID+local incident ID}_{GISS name}.lyrx
      {tool/GDB schema & version used to produce data)_EDIT}

      Save the Event Group All Layers as a layer file.
    2. Use this layer file to build a new Edit Map should you need to for any reason.

Note: The Feature Templates just created are saved in the layer files but will not be transferred to a new map if only the Import Symbology function in the Symbology properties is used. When moving to a new map add the layer file as you would a feature class through the Add Data window. If the data has moved or you wish to apply it to a different feature class, simply repair/change the data source.


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