ArcGIS Survey123

Whats new in ArcGIS Survey123 (September 2021)

ArcGIS Survey123 is a complete, form-centric system providing sophisticated data collection, workflow automation, analysis and reporting capabilities. Organizations around the world use it to replace paper forms and obsolete data collection workflows. Survey123 excels at a wide range of uses from online research surveys to field asset inventories and inspections.

We are excited to present our September 2021 release. Read on to learn what’s new:

New Address question type

The user experience you choose for users to submit data, dictates the quality of the data you get.  In many scenarios, an address, not a map, is the simplest and most natural way to describe the exact location of something. With the new Address question type, you will help users enter an address into a Survey123 form easier and faster than ever before.

Animation of the new Address question type showing predictive text behavior
Predictive text helps end users more quickly enter an address and boosts the quality of data by standardizing user input

When it comes to collecting the location of something, the new Address question is a great alternative to the Map question type. It can simplify and accelerate data capture, while boosting the quality of your location data.

Read these two blog posts to learn more about the new Address question:

Image support in the Survey123 field app inbox

The inbox is a powerful feature. It lets you download and edit your data in the Survey123 field app. The inbox is commonly used to support routine asset inspection workflows and to manage field work assignments.

Up until this release, records in the inbox included geometry and attributes as well as related features, but not attachments. Starting with version 3.13, the Survey123 field app let’s you dynamically download images associated with records in your inbox.

The animation below shows a hydrant inspection workflow.  A hydrant record previously downloaded into the inbox is opened showing its location, attributes, and information about previous inspections. Note that the inspection log includes photos as well.

Animation showing how records from the Survey123 field app inbox now include images
Survey123 records from the Survey123 field app inbox now support images

Support for images in the inbox has been a popular ArcGIS Suvey123 Idea for a while, so we are pleased to make a good start on this one!

Calculations and hidden questions in the Survey123 web designer

Authoring forms with the Survey123 web designer is as easy as dragging questions into your design and visually configuring their look, feel and behavior. All from your web browser! With the Survey123 web designer you can intuitively build powerful smart forms in minutes, distribute them and immediately use the collected data to support decision making.

In addition to the new Address question, this release introduces support for calculations in the web designer. Through a calculation, you can populate a question using previously entered data from your form. For example, you can take values from two numeric questions and automatically calculate their average in a third question.

A well-designed smart form uses calculations to enrich your data while minimizing user input. In the animation below, for example, a calculation is used to automatically extract the postal code from an address question.  The postal code value is stored in a separate field and hidden from the user to avoid distraction.

An animation of a calculation being configured in Survey123 designer
You can now configure calculations and hide questions in Survey123 designer

XLSForm improvements

XLSForm is the language of smart forms. Survey123 adheres to this powerful industry standard. Survey123 Connect is a desktop application that you can download to author and publish Survey123 forms using the XLSForm specification.  With every release, XLSForm support in Survey123 grows. Here is what’s new:

To learn more about XLSForm, check our XLSForm essentials help.

Other enhancements

Finally, this update brings many other enhancements including:

More resources and next steps

To learn more about what’s new in this and previous releases, check out the What’s new help archive.  Through the Survey123 group in the Esri Community, you will have access to more detailed blogs and an open forum where you can post your questions. You can also find more Survey123 content in the ArcGIS blog.

We are already working on our next update. Join the Survey123 Early Adopter Community to get access to the latest version of the software, read documentation on upcoming features an participate in the early adopter user forums.

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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