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2017

Survey123 for ArcGIS lets capture photos anywhere in your survey.  These photos can then be accessed via several online and desktop tools.

Viewing your Photos

In ArcGIS terms, photos are attachments stored in the feature service’s database along with the rest of the survey data submitted.  There are a couple ways of exploring the images through the web:

  • The Data tab of the Survey123 for ArcGIS’s website displays the photos of a survey response when it is selected in the ‘Individual Response’
  • Sign in to your ArcGIS organization (for example https://www.arcgis.com) and you can view the data table of the service storing the data, including accessing the image attachments.  To do so, go to the Item Details of the service storing your form data and go to the ‘Data’ tab.
  • Links to attached photos can be displayed in the pop-ups of a survey point in a web map be available in a web application like a Story Map.

Exporting your Photos

Aside from having the photos stored with the survey data, there are analysis operations that may require the photos to be downloaded; for example, archiving the photos or using them in documentation/presentations.  Any individual photo can be downloaded from web sites by right-clicking on the photo and selecting ‘Save Image’ or right-clicking on the link and selecting ‘Download Link(ed File)’.  The most efficient way to export all of the photos is to download a File Geodatabase copy of the data and then follow the steps described in the Esri Knowledge Base article "How To: Batch export attachments from a feature class". Note that this will also download any signature question answers as well; signature questions will not have location information embedded.

Photo Metadata

When you take a photo, Survey123 records more than just the picture.  Photo metadata (camera type, camera settings and location information) are stored in what is known as the EXIF portion of the photo file. The location information in particular can enhance the understanding of a survey by providing additional points that can be associated with the survey.  A good example of this is inventorying equipment and facilities at a local park.  We can construct a form with the questions, including a photo, for the equipment are in a repeat of a form that gets filled out once per park.  Rather than asking for a point at every piece of an equipment, the collector can take a photo, from which the approximate location can be extracted.  The result is that the survey is recording multiple points without users needing to always add information onto the map.

To get the location information, the survey data must be downloaded as described above.  ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro both have a “GeoTagged Photos To Points” tool that then will create the new point features.  To make this process a little easier, I’ve combined the extract tool with the GeoTagged Photos to Points tool in Python Script and Toolbox.

When Esri recently added the ability to share a form publicly it was a huge step towards giving us the ability to collect crowd sourced data without the need for data collectors to have their own organizational named user accounts. The one problem with a public form is anyone can collect and submit data to your feature layer. We had the need to collect crowd sourced citizen science data from a specific group of users but were not able to provide organizational named user accounts for a few hundred users, so the public form provide an avenue to do this. We also had the need to limit the people submitting data using our from to a group of known individuals, so a fully fully public form was not desirable. Below is an outline of a quick and simple solution to adding a password to a public form using the pulldata() function. This is by no means a perfect solution and is not totally secure, someone with knowledge of Survey123 form creation could figure out how to get into your form properties and find the usernames and passwords, but in our case we are not collecting sensitive data so the risk to someone hacking our form seemed minimal. 

 

The pulldata() function:

First for those unfamiliar with the pulldata() function pulldata  gives ability to look up and pull existing information into your form from an external csv file stored in your media folder. More information on pulldata can be found here in James Tedrick blog: Use existing data in your survey - the pulldata() function

 

Create your username and password list:

First step is to create a list of user names and password. A simple two column list saved as a CSV will work. This is stored in the media folder for your form.

 

Build your form:

 

 

What's going on here?

  • The first item (row 2) is just a note telling the user  to enter their username and password to continue.
  • Row 3 is a text question asking for the username and row 4 is a text field asking the password (set the bind::esri:fieldType to "Null' for the password field.
  • Row 5 is a hidden field using the pulldata() function to grab the predetermined password for the username from the stored CSV file.
  • Row 6 is a note field informing the user that the username/password combination incorrect. The relevant column set to ${passwordLU} != ${password} and ${password} != '' is saying display the note if the password value entered is not blank and not the same as the password associated with the username from 'user' table.

  • Row 7 begins a group which will contain all of your questions. The relevant column ${password} = ${passwordLU} and ${password} != '' will only open the group if the entered password is the same as the password looked up from the 'user' table.

  • Rows 9-12 are the form questions
  • Row 13 closes the group
  • Users will probably not want to have to enter their user name and password each time they fill in a form, so once those fields are filled in the user could set the answers to favorites and then save the form as a draft.

 

A couple considerations:

  • This is not meant to be a secure username/password protocol but more just to control who is using the form. It could also be simplified to just have the user enter a name then compare the entered name to one a name on a list.
  • The username and password are fields and will appear in your Survey123/AGOL feature class, you may want to take this into consideration when publishing your feature class and hide the password field.
    As of the release of Survey123 v.2.4 the bind::esri:fieldType can be set to "Null" for the password field eliminating the need have a password field in the feature layere See the blog The Power of Nothing 
  • For a more centralized data collection effort where you would know all of the devices you would want collecting data with your form, you could use the property() function to pull the device ID and compare to a list of "approved" device IDs using pulldata.

I am sure there will be several ideas that can improve on my procedure so please feel free to share.

On 20 December 2013, at its 68th session, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) decided to proclaim the third of March, the day of the adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), as World Wildlife Day.

 

World Wildlife Day 2017 encourages youth around the world to rally together to address ongoing major threats to wildlife including habitat change, over-exploitation or illicit trafficking.

 

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This is a minor maintenance update focused on the survey123 web site.

 

Remember to clear your web browser cache to  benefit from this update !              

                

 

Localization

 

While the Survey123 Connect and the Survey123 field app have been available for months in all languages supported in ArcGIS, the Survey123 web site was only available in English.  With this update we add support in the Survey123 web site for the following languages:

 

BosnianCroatianCzechTraditional Chinese (Taiwan)DutchEstonian
FinnishFrenchGreekIndonesianItalianJapanese
GermanKoreanLatvianLithuanianRussianSerbian
NorwegianPolishRomanianPortuguese (Brazil)ThaiSpanish
SwedishTurkishDanishSimplified ChineseVietnamese

 

The language to be used in the web site will be determined by the logged-in user's profile. If no preferred language is found in the profile, then the default language of the ArcGIS organization will be used. If no language is set in the organization the language set in the web browser will be matched.

 

We will work on supporting Arabic and Hebrew in the Survey123 web site in our next update.

                

Enhancements to Public Survey Sharing

 

Since we launched support for Public Surveys in November 2016, we have seen many exciting uses of them for crowd-sourcing and citizen science initiatives. Public surveys have also become a favorite among educators in schools and universities.  

 

In this update, we have refined the process for sharing surveys in the Collaborate page of survey123.arcgis.com. The new enhancements are actually equally valid for private surveys, but the changes have been driven mostly by usage of Public Surveys. Thanks to Amy (Geoporter), Joseph (Esri EdCommunity), Dr Muki (ExciteS), Dave (USDAD-NCRS) and Sara (CoastWatch) for your feedback!

 

Surveys can be easily shared with users via a simple link. Surveys can be easily shared with users via a simple link that you can embed in a web site, include in an e-mail, or promote through social media. Through the Collaborate tab in the Survey123 web site you can generate links that will launch your survey in a web browser and the Survey123 field app. In this update creating links is easier than ever before, as shown in the next animation.

 

Note: As of this release, it is not possible to display surveys authored in Survey123 Connect  in a web browser. You will not see options to open your survey on the web if you created your survey from Survey123 Connect  for ArcGIS. Only if you author your survey using the Web Designer you will see all the options above.

 

If you plan to use survey links to help people open your survey in the Survey123 field app, there are a couple of reasons why this update matters. First, because the new links can now be embedded into virtually any web site and blog and social media. The second because it is bullet-proof even for some Android devices where in the past some of you reported that survey links were being blocked by the operating system or some applications.


Other minor enhancements and fixes

 

Some minor fixes (BUG-000102897, BUG-000102122) as well as cosmetic enhancements are also included in the Survey123 web site. Most notably, a redesign of the Create New Survey dialog, to make it easier for beginners to understand the differences between the web and desktop survey authoring environments.

 

 

Finally, if using surveys from a web browser in a mobile device, you will notice a smoother user experience when submitting locations.

 

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A small focused update as you can see but with some key enhancements and fixes!  Our next release is planned for late March and will bring exciting new features that you can try already through our Survey123 for ArcGIS Beta Program.