ArcGIS Survey123

What is New in Survey123 for ArcGIS v 2.5 (November 2017)

We are pleased to announce a new update to Survey123 across all supported platforms. Version 2.5 is a minor update, although it includes a good collection of fixes and enhancements across the Survey123 website, Survey123 Connect and the field app.

Before we start, a few housekeeping items:

OK, here the highlights of our 2.5 release:

Survey123 website

Survey Publishing Enhancements (Modify Schema)

With Survey123 web designer, you can visually create surveys right from your web browser.  Our vision with web designer is to provide the simplest experience possible for building powerful smart forms.  Survey123 web designer, in fact, does a lot for you under the covers including automatically building a fully functional ArcGIS feature service where data from your survey will get persisted.  Up until this release, you could not control the exact characteristics of the fields in your feature service. This is not typically an issue except when you want to download the data to Microsoft Excel, CSV or other formats like Shapefiles.

Starting with this release, we added an option in the Publish Survey dialog that lets you modify the schema of your survey’s feature service.  You can control the exact name that will be given to fields, define the values to be stored when using choice lists and even the maximum length of text fields.

Please note that you will not be able to change  the schema of fields that already exist in your feature service.  For  example, when you publish your survey for the first time, you will be able to modify the schema for all questions in your survey. However, if you publish the same survey again, you will only be able to modify the schema for new questions in your survey.

Delete a survey while preserving the data

Starting with this release, the Delete Survey dialog in the Survey123 website includes a handy option that will let you optionally preserve all data you captured.   If you choose to delete all collected data, your survey will be removed along with its feature service.  If you choose this option, you may want to first make a backup copy of your data first.

Changes to the Data tab

The Data tab in the Survey123 website lets you explore all collected data using a map, a table and an individual response format. We made a handful of changes:

Other enhancements and fixes in the Survey123 website

Survey123 Field App and Connect Enhancements

Disable the Sent box in the Survey123 field app

Through a new survey-level setting in Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS you can now disable the Sent box in the Survey123 field app. This setting has been requested by a handful of organizations who, for security reasons, want to ensure that data already submitted to ArcGIS is completely erased from the device.  Disabling the Sent boxis also handy if you want to prevent users from copying previously sent surveys to create new ones.

For more info, check this help topic.

Extract Exif metadata from photos using the pulldata() function

The pulldata() XLSForm function has been extended so you can extract Exif metadata from photos.  This allows you to store the Exif metadata as attributes of your features, making it possible to use this information easily once stored in ArcGIS.

Information such as the date-time and location where the photo was taken are stored as Exif metadata. You can also retrieve information about the camera used to take the photo, its dimensions etc

The syntax for extracting Exif data is as follows:

pulldata(“@exif”, ${image}, “gpslatitude”)

The first parameter indicates that the pulldata() function will be used to extract Exif metadata. The second parameter indicates the question in your XLSForm with the image. The third parameter defines the name of the Exif metadata to be extracted. Depending on the camera used to take the photo, Exif metadata can include more than 100 tags.

For a detailed list of common tags available, look at the Exif XLSForm included in Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS:

  1. Open Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS
  2. Click on New Survey
  3. Find the Exif survey in the Samples category
  4. Set a title to your new survey and create it
  5. The list of tags is located in the choices worksheet

Survey123 Connect publishing enhancements

Survey123 Connect will no longer overwrite your survey feature service when attempting to add new questions to an already published survey.  A new dialog will prompt you to confirm that new fields should be added to your feature service.

New XLSForm Community Surveys and Samples in Survey123 Connect

The Create New Survey dialog in Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS includes many functional XLSForms in the Community and Samples categories.  You can use these surveys as a starting point to your own. This update includes new XLSForms:

Other Survey123 Field App and Connect Enhancements and fixes

Next steps

The next release of Survey123  is planned for late January 2018. We are working on new existing features which we will progressively disclose through our Survey123 Early Adopter Program.

About the author

Ismael Chivite joined Esri in 2002. A geographer by training, he loves helping people leverage GIS to improve the way they work. As a Senior Product Manager, Ismael is always looking for ideas to create new and improve existing Esri products. Outside working hours: Legos, rock climbing, Romanesque architecture and jamon iberico. On occasion, he enjoys jamon during working hours too.

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