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The United Nations Public Service Day (23rd June) is one to recognize and celebrate excellence in public service. The Public Service Awards delivered on this day reward the creative achievements and contributions of public service institutions that lead to a more effective and responsive public administration in countries worldwide.


Here is what this update brings to all of us:


Survey123 is no longer in Beta! That is right. With this update we commence our journey as a fully released product. We will continue our monthly updates as usual so we can be as responsive as possible to your requests. Please keep your feedback coming through the GeoNet group as well as our newly created Ideas site.



Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS enhancements:


When you choose to create a new survey in Connect, you now have more ways to get started. The Advanced and Basic templates are still there, and are perfect for when you know


what questions you need to create, but you can also create a new survey from an existing one. There are two key categories -

Samples and Community. Samples highlight specific question types and recommended techniques. Community highlights real projects that relate to specific business needs. With this update, Connect will also let you start your survey design using existing surveys you  may already have as a starting point.


In this update Connect also includes handy options for you to rename, delete and clone your surveys.



Create and use surveys from your web browser:  Right from you can now design your own surveys by simply dragging and dropping  questions.

While not every aspect of smart surveys is supported in this environment, you will find our new Quick Designer very easy to use and perfect for simple surveys.  Surveys authored on the web can be easily shared with others by sending a link. With this link all you need to submit data is a web browser on your desktop or mobile device.  Of course, if you want to take your surveys offline, you can also  download them into your Survey123 field app!   This short video highlights the basics of authoring and using  surveys with our Quick Designer.





New reporting capabilities: We have greatly enhanced so you can easily analyze data submitted into your surveys. The Analyze tab now supports

Survey123 for ArcGIS Reporting Web Site Types of Charts II.gif

more question

types and includes very much improved charts. For example, in your single and multi-choice questions you can now sort choices in ascending and descending order; the map legend is more legible etc.  You will also find a nice word cloud

for your text questions and support for repeats (related tables) in the Analyze tab.



The Data tab also brings some new features including more robust data exports as well as better interactivity with records in the table view.


Autocomplete support in the Survey123 file app: The autocomplete XLSForm appearance is now supported. It is ideal to simplify user  input against very long choice lists in select_one type of questions.   At this moment, autocomplete will filter elements in your list as you type the initial characters of the choice you are looking for.


Other: Traditional Chinese (Hong Kong), Traditional Chinese (Taiwan), Croatian and Serbian language support has been added to both the app and Connect. Several minor fixes.


Our next update is planned to be made available around July 22. Our focus for this  upcoming release will be improved integration with Workforce for ArcGIS and fixes.

[Updated February 22, 2019]


The calculation column in XLSForms allows you write expressions that, when evaluated, set the response for a particular question. Calculations are supported in most of the questions types such as integers, text, date etc  For example, the Calculation expression below will sum the number of girls and boys in a class, so the field user does not need to enter the total number.



Calculations are pretty straight-forward once you understand the operators you can use. This help topic has a nice table with all the operators supported. I also really like Hanna's Blog Post


It may not be obvious how to use Calculations against geopoint questions, but it is possible!  Calculating a geopoint will literally move the map to the computed location. For example, say you have a list of wells and you want the user to select one of them, to set the X/Y coordinates of the well in a geopoint question.Geo_Smaller.gif


To Calculate a geopoint, the most important aspect is understanding how geopoints are internally represented in Survey123 for ArcGIS. The format is simple: a space-separated list of valid latitude (decimal degrees) and longitude (decimal degrees). For example, this is how a geopoint question, under the covers, is managed within the Survey123 app:


 43.221 -117.342


A geopoint object requires at least the latitude and longitude, but additional values can be added for its elevation (in meters), horizontal accuracy (in meters) etc


 43.221 -117.342 34 2


Of course, that is not what the field user sees, because they see a map... but you need to know how a geopoint object is stored if you want to work with Calculations and Geopoints. If your calculation generates a string like that, the map in your geopoint question will center itself there. You can also set the value of a geopoint question using the default column.


Ok, so lets look at this step by step through an example. Pretend we want to build a survey where the user selects a city from a list and have  the map automatically center at that city.


The location of every city is encoded in the cities choice list. Note that the coordinates of their location are in the name column. I separated coordinates with an underscore because spaces are not allowed in the name column.



The calculation expression parses this value to extract and format the data to be passed to the geopoint question. For that, the substr function is used. I had to put care into ensuring that the different values encoded started and ended at fixed positions in the string. That is, I reserved the first 10 characters for the latitude, then I added the separator, and then I left the rest of characters for the longitude etc If needed, I would add extra zeros at the end to make sure the coordinates had exactly the expected number of characters. There are some functions like split, that would theoretically help us parse strings with more flexibility, but at the moment they are not yet supported in Survey123. To properly build the string representing the geopoint object, I used the concat() function.


select_one continentcontinentContinent
select_one citiescitiesCitycontinent=${continent}
geopointlocationMapconcat(substr(${cities}, 0,10)," ",substr(${cities}, -10))


Encoding the coordinates in a choice list will  work well for small numbers of points. Storing the coordinates in a CSV file and using pulldata() to get them is recommended if you plan to work with large lists.


Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS includes two sample XLSForms that will help you play with the  concept of calculating geopoints. To open the Samples follow these steps:

  1. Open Survey123 Connect or ArcGIS
  2. Click on New Survey
  3. Select the Samples category from the dialog and look for the Calculate Location from Choice List, or Calculate Location from CSV



 If you would like to block field users from overwriting the location set by your calculation, you can set your geopoint question to read-only.


So far, we have learned how a calculation can set the value of a geopoint, but you can also do the reverse. That is, you can use a calculation to extract data from a geopoint question, such as the X,Y and Z values and use them in your own expressions.  This technique uses the pulldata() function and it is described in more detail in thePulling data from geopoint questions blog post.