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All Places > ArcGIS Survey123 > Blog > 2016 > September

We owe to those who with their genius inventions have made our lives easier.  Inventor’s Day celebrates their ideas and occurs in some countries such as United Kingdom, Austria, United States and a few others. Argentina celebrates the Inventor’s Day on September 29, birthday of László József Bíró who invented the ballpoint pen.  Ballpoint pens and forms have a long history together, so we thought we would devote this update to this great inventor.

Here are the highlights of what is new in this release:


  • Export to CSV enhancements: Some of you want to extract your survey data into CSV format so you can easily import it into Microsoft Excel and other tools. As of this release, the CSV column names will honor the label set on your survey questions. This enhancement is particularly handy if you have designed your survey using the Survey123 web site: No more cryptic column headers! Just as a reminder, the export to csv option is available from the Data tab at


  • Launch the Survey123 mobile app from a Web Map popup: You can now configure Web Map popups in ArcGIS to launch the Survey123 mobile app. A classic example is when you want the popup of an asset to let you easily launch Survey123, load a particular inspection form and even prepopulate some questions using attributes from that asset.  To learn more about how to do this, have a look at the Understanding the Survey123 URL scheme blog post, which was recently updated.


  • Automatic download of surveys when Survey123 is launched remotely: This one is also closely related to the use of Survey123’s custom URL scheme. Up until this release, you could not remotely open surveys in the mobile app unless they had already been downloaded into the device first. Starting with 1.8, if the survey you want to open is not present in the device already, Survey123 will attempt to download it automatically, and then open it.


  • Support compulsory questions within a repeat: In Survey123, you can include compulsory questions in your forms by simply flagging them as required. This enables you to prevent end-users from submitting incomplete forms. With this update, we are extending support for required questions to those included within a repeat block.


  • Enhancements to the pulldata function: We introduced the pulldata function in 1.7 as the means to preloading data into your survey using CSV files. With 1.8, you can also use pulldata to extract multiple attributes from geopoint questions. For example, you can extract the X and Y coordinates as well as, if your device is able to provide this information, its elevation, horizontal-vertical accuracy and even the speed and direction of your device when the location was captured.   This is extremely useful  if you want to store the X,Y,Z coordinates as attributes in your features, but also to add constraints in your form to warn users if the accuracy of the captured location is not sufficient. The syntax of an expression using pulldata for extracting the horizontal accuracy from a geopoint question looks something like this:


pulldata("@geopoint", ${location}, "horizontalAccuracy")

For a quick display of this new feature in action, load the new Calculate Location From Geopoint sample in Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS.


  • Support for 3D Feature Services:  Through the bind::esri:FieldType column in your XLSForm, you can define the exact way in which attributes will be stored in your feature service. In this release, we have added support for the value esriFieldTypePointZ, which will turn your Survey123 feature service into 3D, allowing you to store the elevation of locations in the geometry column itself.


There are a handful of other miscellaneous fixes and improvements, which are detailed in the What is New Help topic.  As usual, we want to thank all of you who helped us with your feedback getting this release out.

Esri UC | Call for Papers 


You are GIS. Your work matters. Share your experience with Survey123 for ArcGIS at the Conference!


The 2017 call for papers covers 60+ session topics highlighting the GIS solutions today and in the future. The user sessions combined with the UC plenary and lightning talk presentations will bring more than 900 speakers together covering more than 260 sessions dedicated to the success and advancement of geospatial technology. As an Esri UC presenter you will gain recognition and exposure to over 16,000 Esri users who represent over 26 unique and diverse fields. Coming together with the common goal of answering today’s challenges with tomorrow’s GIS to create a better world.


The submission deadline is October 28 November 7, 2016. Do not worry, you do not have your presentation ready by then. Guidelines to submit your proposal can be found at  Esri UC | Call for Papers 


Abstract Submission Guidelines



  • Author/presenter name(s)
  • Presentation title (70 characters or less)
  • Topic category
  • Company name
  • Complete address, phone, and fax information
  • Brief presenter biography (200 characters or less)
  • Abstract (500 characters or less)


Be sure to answer these questions:

  • What problem did you solve with GIS? What advantage did GIS give you?
  • What types of geospatial analysis did you use? Explain how and why.
  • What are your findings or results?
  • How can this project be useful for the audience?


Content and formatting

  • All papers and presentations must be noncommercial. At no time is it permissible for presenters to use their time slot to advertise or promote a product, service, or company.
  • Remember, the information you enter is used for publishing purposes (e.g., online agenda and mobile app); therefore, eliminate bullet points, numbering, or all capital letters; submissions must be in English.
  • Do not include information in your abstract that will not be included in your presentation.
  • Business partners must have a client as the primary presenter. Any presentation must focus on your client's success and how Esri software provided a solution.


Presenter Information

All accepted presenters must upload their presentation prior to the UC in order to present and be included in the proceedings.  If your paper contains sensitive information and you are concerned with sharing certain information please contact us at


Presentations are typically 20 minutes or less. This year's committee will evaluate all abstracts and make selections based on topic, content, and time available. All authors will be notified after the selection process. A detailed program of presentations and events will be provided prior to the conference. A projector and screen will be provided in the presentation room.

You've collected your data using Survey123 for ArcGIS, what's next? There are several ways the Survey123 website can help you analyze and visualize the results of your survey.  The Analyze tab enables some great reporting capabilities that help you review, understand, and interpret your survey results. It provides some simple, but very powerful reporting tools such as making charts, word clouds, etc. These tools can help you better interpret your survey results.


Viewing Results - The Analyze tab

At the Analyze tab of a survey, you can view the aggregate results of your survey- each question, aside from image questions, will display a chart. Depending on the data type, the charts available will be different:

  • Text (free text): The most common words by count will be displayed as a word cloud (requires at least 20 entries)
    Word cloud visualization of a text field
  • Single Choice Questions: Column, Bar, and Pie charts, as well as a map color-coded by answer
    Column chart visualiztionBar chart visualizationPie chart visualizationMap of points categorized by field being visualized
  • Multiple Choice Questions: Column, Bar
  • Date questions: Histogram
    Histogram visualization of date field

PrintingCharts can be printed as displayed; this also allows for PDF export on many computers

From the Analyze tab, you can print your entire survey summary results as a PDF file. You can alternatively hide questions from your report using the 'Visibility' setting. When ready to print, use the 'Print Current View'; if your browser supports PDF generation, you can then save the result to a PDF file.

'Set Visibility' option in analyze tab controls which charts are displayed


With the latest update to the Survey123 website we also have enabled the printing of individual responses. In the 'Data' tab is now the option to view the details of a response. From there you can print that detail or save as a PDF file.


What will we improve?
Looking forward, an area we are working on is providing additional capabilities to filter survey data totals to be able to see statistics based on the values of questions or submission time. We also want to support bulk printing of records.


We also want  to enable you to share  the survey results with groups of people. At the moment, only the owner of the survey can look at the analyze tab.


Try out the Analyze tab, Detail view, and printing and let us know what you think!

Survey123 for ArcGIS version 1.7 introduced support for more advanced mathematical functions, which can be called in the calculation and constraint columns of a survey question. The table below is a summary of the new mathematical functions.




With these newly supported mathematical functions, sophisticated calculations can be applied to answers in a survey. Here are just a few examples of ways that some of these functions can be incorporated into your survey.


Example 1: The area of a circular plot would be quite hard to measure directly, and without these functions you would likely need to rely on estimations or use a calculator. Now, though, the area can be calculated with this expression automatically by Survey123 for ArcGIS.





Example 2: Say you are putting together a vegetation field survey. You want field users to visit a series of sites, each with 5 plots. You do not need them to sample every plot. Instead, you want them to randomly survey 2 plots in each site. The following screenshot illustrates how using the random and round functions you can make survey123 automatically present the plots to visit to the field user.





Looking at the example above closely, you will notice that we use the random function first. This function picks a random number between 0 and 1, which we multiply by 5 to scale the range to five points as needed, then we add point five and round to keep the site number between 1 and 5.



Example 3: I do not intend to describe in detail the next example, but I wanted to share it with you to illustrate the level of complexity that calculations can support. This particular example was generously shared by a Survey123 user during our beta testing for 1.7 and it calculates the water flow within a pipe based on the speed of the water, diameter of the pipe and other variables.



If you want to learn more about how to use Mathematical functions I recommend you have a look at the following:


Try out our new mathematical functions to make your survey form smarter!

Commemorated on the anniversary of the shutdown of the Soviet Union's main nuclear test site in Kazakhstan, the International Day against Nuclear Tests is a day of awareness of the effects and repercussions of nuclear explosions. It took fifteen years for Russia, Kazakhstan and the United States to clean up the site, which was about the size of Wales.

For the past month, we at the Survey123 team have been peacefully working on this new update. Lots of shiny things, none of them radioactive:

Authoring surveys from your web browser gets better
There's been a lot of excitement and positive feedback on the browser survey designer we added back in June. We graduated this functionality so it is not in Beta anymore. We really appreciate all the feedback we have been given so far! Many of you missed the ability to add photo questions into your surveys, so we added this option. Additionally, we added an option for you to edit long lists of choices in bulk and enabled ordering of questions in your survey by dragging them up and down.

Author surveys on the web, take them to the next level with Survey123 Connect
Our survey designer is a great starting point as it lets you very quickly create surveys using a visual environment right from your browser. Sometimes, however, you want to take your surveys a step further by leveraging advanced smart form features.  That is where Survey123 Connect comes in allowing you to use the full power of the XLSForm specification. As of 1.7, you can download surveys locally into Connect, even if authored on the web designer, refine them and publish them back into ArcGIS.

Something important to remember is that once you edit a survey with Connect, end-users will no longer be able to submit data with it using their web browsers anymore. They will always need to use the Survey123 mobile app.  We are already working to close the loop on this one and ensure that regardless of the tool you use to author your surveys, you will be able to submit data from the web or the Survey123 mobile app.
Export and Print the results of your survey
The Analyze tab in now includes capabilities to print and export the results of your survey into pdf. Look for the print button, you will love it. You can also use the Data tab to look at much improved individual survey reports.

Most of what is described above you can see in action in this brief video:
Pre-load CSV data into your surveys
A feature that’s been a long time coming, Survey123 now has the ability to pre-load data from a CSV file. By just adding the CSV into your survey’s media folder, and using the newly supported pulldata() function in the calculation column of a question, you can populate questions with whatever contents of the file you want.
This function can be used to streamline a number of processes already being done by some users with other methods. For some, this will be a more efficient approach for both the survey designer and user than a cascading select, while others will appreciate it as an alternative to pulling apart values to feed into a geopoint question. Still others might find it useful to use the results of a previous survey to populate their current one or even to validate user input.

For information on how to use this new function, have a look at this brief video tutorial as well this help topic.


EXIF data in images
In previous versions of Survey123, a limitation caused EXIF metadata to be stripped from photos submitted. We’ve done more than fix this bug, as the photo capture page now has enhanced location features.
In the upper-right corner of the photo page you can now see a location icon, the same as would be familiar from geopoint questions. If this icon is visible at all, it means that your device has a location sensor, and so where you take the photo will be captured within the image. Pressing the icon will refresh the location; this is a good choice for when you want a specific location, but have moved while taking the photo.
Expanded math functions in XLSForms
Your survey's smart forms have now become even smarter, with the support of a variety of mathematical functions. Exponents, square roots, pi, trigonometric functions and more can now be used to derive answers that would be either impossible or extremely cumbersome otherwise. Simply include them in the calculation column of your survey, and your form will do the math for you.   The Calculation survey sample has been expanded to illustrate the use of Math functions. To get a taste of this, have a look at this 3 minute video tutorial and check out the expanded Calculations help topic.
Mobile app critical fixes
Last but not least, the 1.7 version of the Survey123 mobile app addresses a critical issue for many of you which was causing relevant statements in surveys to be ignored. This was particularly noticeable in iOS devices.   Many thanks to Johan Ekenstedt, Jim W, Matt Thomas and Brad Lingenfender, Kirk McEwen, Chris Nichols, Summit Mallavaram, James Johnson, Travis Butcher, Thadius, PinPointMapping, Rodarter, WarrenD56, Phil Wilson and all of you that helped us reproduce the problem and patiently waiting for this fix.

The app is now much more tolerant to incorrect Instance_Name expressions. In the past, errors in the Instance_Name setting would cause the submit button to be unresponsive… not anymore!

In the next few weeks we will make an effort to publish a series of blogs to describe in more detail all of the above. In the meantime, you should also look at the What is New page in our documentation as well as the many updated and new help topics.
Before closing this post, just a few words of wisdom:
  1. When accessing, clear your browser cache
  2. The latest version of the Survey123 app is 1.7.20 and it is available in the iTunes, Google Play and Windows stores
  3. To download Survey123 Connect (version 1.7.35) or the Desktop flavor of the Survey123 app, go here.
We are now working hard on our next update to AppStudio for ArcGIS, so our next release will need to wait until late October. As usual we will keep a close eye on your feedback and do our best to align our priorities to it.
The Survey123 for ArcGIS Team