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 survey123.arcgis.com 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.
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 XLSFormsYour 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 Wysor, 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:
- When accessing survey123.arcgis.com, clear your browser cache
- The latest version of the Survey123 app is 1.7.20 and it is available in the iTunes, Google Play and Windows stores
- 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