Skip to main content
Using Layer In the Field

Best practices for using Layer on mobile devices for collecting data on site.

Silvia Lee avatar
Written by Silvia Lee
Updated over a week ago

Layer was designed to help easily collect project data while on site. Follow the tips below for a smooth experience.

Before going out on site

  • Check that your device has the latest iOS version, if using iPhone or iPad.

  • Download the latest Layer app from the App Store

    • For the best experience, we recommend using the Layer iOS app instead of a browser, because it will automatically save photos to your device's camera roll.

  • Open your Layer project in the app. This ensures that you have the project data you need on the device.

  • Test the device: Check that the device is working properly by placing a dot annotation on drawing view or taking a test photo. (Use a dummy project or category if you want to keep your element numbering intact.)

While on site

  • If you know you are going to an area with limited or no internet connection, we recommend going offline to do your data collection. This can happen in remote locations or areas with weak Wi-Fi signals, like the basement of an office building. In these cases, the app may continue to work, but response times may be slow, affecting data input and user experience.

  • When working offline, go back online regularly throughout your site visit to sync your data back to Layer. Uploading in smaller chunks will help ensure that your work is saved throughout the day, and will avoid a large data upload to occur.

Data Collection

Layer is most commonly used for the following when on site. Rest assured that your data is being collected, either locally on your device or synced to our servers when you have a proper connection.

  • Photos: If taken and uploaded from your device, photos will automatically sync to Layer to be viewed by other users. If using offline mode, the photos will be saved to your device until you're back online. Once the device reconnects to the internet, the photos are automatically uploaded to our servers. You can monitor the number of pending uploads by checking the Files page within your project. If you're using the Layer iOS app, photos taken within the app are also saved to your device's camera roll.

  • Drawing View Annotations: 
If you are placing annotations in drawing view and the pins are showing up with X, that means that you are have limited internet connection. When offline we display the pdf markups with an 'X' instead of a number until the issue number can be generated. This is part of our checks to ensure there are no duplicates and that each issue number is unique.

  • Layer Field Values: These will be saved as it is entered, either locally on your device or to the cloud.


If you’re having issues with data being properly uploaded, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our support chat, but here are a few troubleshooting tips that you can try yourself.

  • Check to see if there are pending uploads from the Files category.

  • Restart upload process by manually going offline and back online on your device.

  • If you need only a few photos, and you are on an iOS device, you can re-upload from your photo roll.

  • Photos that were taken in an incorrect category or field, can be moved by going into the file and changing the categories and element.

Don't hesitate to reach out to our support chat if you are still having issues!

Did this answer your question?