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The Survey123 Early Adopter Program (EAP) helps you access the latest Beta builds of the software. You can sign in with your existing Esri account and gain access to software downloads, documentation on upcoming features and discussion forums.


The Early Adopter Program is critical to Survey123. It allows the development team to share with you early cuts of the software feedback can be gathered. This early feedback is used to refine new features and fixes before they are made available under General Release. The EAP offers a great opportunity for you to try out your own surveys and workflows with the Beta software to anticipate any issues that may arise in the upcoming releases.


We just updated the EAP with a Beta version of Survey123 3.7, which is planned to be made available in December this year. Not all the new features and work you see in the EAP will make it to 3.7.Only features that have received positive feedback make the cut for general release. Below is a list of some of Beta features for which we want to actively gather your feedback, and some thoughts on when we estimate the features will join the production release of Survey123.


As a general rule, we prefer feedback regarding our Beta releases through the Early Adopter Program Forums. We like to keep discussions in GeoNet for the released version of the software. Keeping things separate avoids potential confusion.


Survey123 Feature Reports


We released Survey123 Feature Report capabilities back in July 2019. The Early Adopter Program will give you access to the Beta builds of the Survey123 website, which include:


  • A new option to generate outputs in PDF format. We want to make sure this works well with your existing report templates and that you do not have any issues with fonts once you open the PDF on your computer.
  • A new option to generate Preview Reports, so you can design your report templates without incurring ArcGIS Online credit costs.

Please note that when generating reports (other than previews) through the Early Adopter Program your account will be charged with credits. Use the preview option if you do not want to be charged.

When testing the new PDF and report preview capabilities, please report your findings (positive and negative) in the new Survey123 website forum in the EAP website. We are targeting 3.7 for the release of both of these functions.


Survey123 Field App


Through the Early Adopter Program you can access Beta builds of the Survey123 field app for iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS and Linux. The Beta build of the Survey123 field app cannot run on the same device as the released version, so you will need extra hardware to test it or remove the released version off the device first.


Our 3.7 release is mostly focused on bug fixes and performance improvements. Information about the specific bug fixes addressed in each Beta update are detailed in the Announcements section of the EAP website. Some of the main areas of work include:


  • The numbers and calculator appearances went through an entire overhaul. The main goal of this work is to address data loss issues reported. We also revisited the overall user experience and came up with a new design to accelerate data capture. We believe we got the data loss issue completely resolved. Can you prove us wrong? Your feedback regarding the new look and feel and usability will also be welcomed.
  • Inbox performance improvements. Our own tests show pretty substantial improvements in terms of memory consumption and speed. This means a better user experience and reduced chances of a crash, particularly on low-end devices. We want you to put points, lines and polys to the test in the Inbox, particularly when working with related records. We are not looking at the Inbox as the means to load 10K records ion your device, but working with a few hundred and even 1000 or 2000 should be now much smoother.
  • Added support for Geode external GNSS receivers.


The features above are planned for our 3.7 release. We are actively working to address random logout issues in the field app. It is our goal to upload new Beta builds so this networking issues can also be validated through the EAP.


The Beta builds of the Survey123 field app are also useful for you to test your existing surveys. As much as we do our best not to break backwards compatibility with older versions, your own tests can highlight issues we would never find on our own.


Survey123 Web Form JavaScript API (New)


  • This is for any JavaScript developer looking to embed Survey123 forms within a web application. Using this API you can easily have the form interact with your own web app. You can apply your own CSS styling, calculate questions and hook to web form events to make your web app and survey work like one.


This is the very first time we expose this feature through the Early Adopter Program. We are initially aiming to release in early 2020, but as usual, the ultimate release date will be dictated by your own feedback through the Early Adopter Program.


On-Premises Survey123 setup (Updated)


  • A Windows-only setup for those of you who want to deploy the Survey123 website and Survey123 REST API locally in your own on-premises environment.


We have had our On-Premises Survey123 setup available in the Early Adopter Program for some time. We are progressively making adjustments and improvements driven by your feedback. Currently, the beta version is ready for anyone who wants to test the website and API locally while keeping a connection to the internet available. If you plan on deploying in a completely disconnected environment (with no access to the internet), keep in mind that Survey123 Connect will not be able to work in that environment (the website and API will).


We are aiming towards a release of this feature (subject to positive feedback) within the first half of 2020.


Standard Map Types


  • Standard map type functionality was introduced in 3.6 as a Beta feature. This is the only Beta feature included in the released builds of the software.  Standard map type functionality needs to be explicitly activated in Connect and the field app, allowing you to work with web maps, mobile map packages and vector tile packages. 
  • Please note that our Beta builds in the Early Adopter Program do not include any new work in this area when compared with the 3.6 release. For this reason, if you are testing this feature you may want to wait for upcoming updates in the Early Adopter Program.



Other topics


You will find other Beta features such as how to use custom JavaScript functions in the field app or how to work with the Survey123 Feature Report service REST API.

Camera systems can help make homes and businesses safer. This technology has become cheaper and more accessible to consumers than ever before. As these systems multiply, they have become an important tool for capturing evidence of criminal activity in our communities. But with so many cameras it can be hard for police to know where these cameras are located or who to contact for access.  


Camera registration programs are a new initiative many police departments are introducing to enlist the communities help in crime fighting activities. These programs allow citizens and businesses to register their surveillance cameras with the local police department. Registration in these programs gives police permission to access footage from these cameras if a crime takes place nearby, which can provide much needed evidence in support of investigations.


Registering a camera does not provide police remote accessed to the camera or a live video feed, but it does give them a good database of security cameras in the area without having to go door to door to solicit this information.


By using the Survey123 for ArcGIS, police departments are easily able to setup a voluntary camera registration form that citizens can use to share the location, characteristics and contact information of private surveillance systems.


There are a number of Voluntary Camera Registration forms built with Survey123 out there. For example:



This article describes how to create your own Voluntary Camera Registration form using Survey123 for ArcGIS. If first explains how to design and publish the form, then provides tips to keep gathered information safe, to prevent unauthorized access. The last sections briefly discusshow you can include a link, or embed the form within a website, social media, etc.


You will need an ArcGIS Online account with publishing permissions (Creator User Type), and about 45 minutes of your time to follow instructions in this article.


Designing your form


To create a new form using Survey123 for ArcGIS, you will need an ArcGIS named user account with permissions to create content and publishing feature services in ArcGIS. If your organization does not have ArcGIS Online yet, you can create an ArcGIS Trial | Free 21-Day Trial subscription for free.


Before you start, it is best to spend some time figuring out what questions you want in your form.  Some of the examples above (St Charles, Redlands or Marietta) can serve you as inspiration.


Try to keep the form simple.  Write down your questions on paper and think carefully about the exact wording you want to use. Once you have your draft form design on paper, run it through a small group of colleagues and incorporate feedback. Once you have some consensus, it is time to build a first iteration with Survey123.


Next, purely as an example, I will provide step by step instructions that you can follow to learn basic techniques to add questions into your form.


  • In a web browser, navigate to and sign in with your ArcGIS Online credentials.  This will open the survey gallery.
  • Click on Create New Survey and select Survey123 Designer. Designer lets you visually create surveys right from within your web browser. It is very easy to use and plenty for what we need.  Survey123 Connect is a more advanced authoring tool, but we will not be using it here.
  • Choose a Name and tag for your project and optionally set a thumbnail. Then click Create.


Tip: If the animation below is too small, click on it to enlarge it.



After your initial survey project setup finishes, the Survey123 designer will open. You can now start adding questions to your form. We are going to organize our form with a header, two question groups, and a closing section for a disclaimer and terms of use acceptance.


  • Lets start by adding and labeling the groups as shown in the animation.



Groups are a great way to break down your form into sections. They can help you make your form more readable. You can add as many groups to your form as you like and even add groups within groups.  For a simple form like this we will keep all questions and groups within a single page.  For larger forms, you may want to break your survey into pages.


  • Add the Name, Email and Phone questions into the Contact Information group. Note that you can use hints to add subtitles into your questions and also mark questions as required. For the Name and Phone questions, use a Singleline Text type of question. For the Email, use the Email type of question, which has built-in email validation.



Tip: You can use the Preview option in the lower-right corner of Survey123 designer to look at your form as you build it. Note that you can preview your form in desktop, tablet and mobile form factors.


In the Security Device Information group we are going to add questions to capture the location of the camera and a few key characteristics.


  • For the location of the camera, we will add a map question (Geopoint question type). Make sure you mark this question as required. Optionally you can use the left panel to select the default basemap and zoom level for your map.



  • In addition to the map, it is a good idea to add a question for users to enter the address where the camera is located (Single Line Text), as extra validation.
  • Add a question of type Single Choice to capture the number of cameras at that location. We could add also a Number type of question, but to keep things simple we will just provide three choices: One, Two and Three or more. You may also want to arrange the choices horizontally to reduce the need for users to scroll up and down.



Next we are going to add a question to find out if it would be possible to have access to the footage and if so, what is the retention policy. We will use a rule to control the visibility of the footage retention question.


  • Add a question of type Single Choice. Change its value to Can the footage of this camera/s be accessed and shared? Then add Yes, No  to the choice list. You may want to also add I do not know.
  • Add a second Single Choice question type. For the label, use Footage retention policy. For the choices set them to: A few hours, One day, One week and More than one week.
  • Select the Yes/No question above in the preview and click on the Set Rule button so you can control when the Footage retention policy is shown.



You can apply rules to choice questions such as Single Choice, Dropdown and Likert.  When defining a rule, you can control visibility on a single question and entire groups.


Tip: Save your work from time to time. It does not hurt! The Save button is on the lower-right corner of Survey123 designer.


Now we are going to add questions for people to optionally provide additional information about the camera. system. On top of the basic types (text, choices, numbers), Survey123 forms also support photos and even documents.  People for example may want to upload a zip file with blueprints of the building highlighting the exact location and coverage of the camera, etc.


  • In the question panel on the right, look for the Image question type and add it to your form. Set the label to Attach a photo of what your camera can see.  You can add multiple Image questions if you want to let users add more than one photo.
  • Add a File Upload question type. Note that you can define what file extensions will be accepted. This question will let users upload documents such as zip files, pdf documents, etc.



The basics of your form are set. We will now work on the disclaimer section and the header.  The disclaimer section is important according to your own lawyer. Make sure you check with her first!  I will use in this tutorial some boilerplate text as an example but do not quote me on this one! The exact Terms of Use and Disclaimer text you will want to use are something between you and your lawyer.


  • Add a Single Choice question to the bottom of your form, outside the group. Use the Title and Hint to paste your disclaimer text.  Reduce all choices to just one: I agree and make sure you mark the question as required. In this way, users will not be able to submit their data unless they agree to the terms.



The header is also important because that is a good place to insert some context about your Voluntary Camera Registration Program. This is where you can tell users why the Police Department is looking to collect camera information, etc. You can also use the header to bring the logo of your organization.


  • Scroll to the very top of your form and click on the Description text in the preview. Then replace the description text on the left panel. Note that you can insert links to other websites, images, change the size and alignment of your text, etc.  Make this look good because it is the first thing people will see.


Your form is complete, but since manners matter, we are going to refine the look & feel and also configure a Thank You screen that will appear after a form is submitted.




  • To the right of the Appearance tab, you will find your survey Settings dialog from which you can customize your Thank You screen. Note that you can include links to other websites and also embed your organization's logo.


Testing your form


The Publish button, in the lower-right corner of the screen lets you publish your form so you can start capturing data with it.  By default, published forms are only available to the author of the survey. That is, you need to login with the credentials of the person that created the survey in order to submit data.  This is by design, so you can test your own form before you share it with other people.


  • Click on the Publish button to publish your form.
  • Open the survey link and submit some test data.



I strongly suggest you give your form a quick test, submitting data and making sure all looks good, before you share it with other people. Once your data is submitted, you can check it through the Data tab in the Survey123 website. You will be presented with both table and map views of your data. Note that you can further edit information submitted. For example, you can update and delete your test records, right from within the Survey123 website.


  • Once data has been submitted, open the Data tab of your survey project and explore the submissions.
  • Learn how to update and delete submitted data.


Do not be shy, run your form by people in your office and get feedback on it. You can make further adjustments to your survey at this point, and then publish the changes again. Once you feel confident with your form design, you are ready to share it.


Sharing your form (to submit data)


Using the Collaborate tab, you can share your survey design for others to submit data. You want to be extremely careful following these steps or otherwise you could be compromising the data that users will submit.


  • In the Survey123 website, click on the Collaborate tab.
  • On the left side of the screen, make sure that the Submitter tab is selected.
  • In the Who can submit to this survey section, select Everyone.
  • Scroll down a bit to the What can submitters do? section and switch the default option to Only add new records.
  • Click on Save to publicly share your form.



The What can submitters do? section is critical. You want to make sure you enable only access to adding features. If you also enable the option to update features, then a malicious person could technically query, download and even modify data submitted through your survey. 


In short, what we have done so far is to make our survey publicly available, so anyone, even without an ArcGIS account can submit data, but we have disable all options for non-authenticated users to query and download the data. That is, we have shared a survey that can only be used to submit data: your data will not be compromised.


Next, you can get the link to your survey and use it within social media, your own website, etc.


  • Scroll up to the top of the Collaborate dialog and copy the link to your survey.



You may notice that you can also get a QR code for your survey and even easily copy and paste HTML code to embed the survey within a website.


Sharing your form (for people to look at survey results)


Data submitted to your survey will only be available to you, the author of the survey, unless you explicitly share your survey results with others. This can also be done through the Collaborate tab.


  • While in the Collaborate tab, open the Viewer section in the left panel.
  • Select the groups within your organization that will have access to the survey data
  • Click Save.



Any person with an ArcGIS account belonging to the groups you select in this dialog will be able to log into the Survey123 website to look at the results of the survey. Viewers will be able to download, filter and map all submitted data.   Think carefully who you want to grant access to this data. You certainly may not want to allow Everyone to access this data. Keep it safe.


Socializing your form


A key aspect to make your Voluntary Camera Registration campaign successful is to promote it within your community. Connect with people in your organization to find the most appropriate way to present your  registration form. Using links provided in the Collaborate tab, you can:


  • Include links to your form in social media: Facebook and Twitter for example.
  • Include a link or the survey itself within an existing website (use the embed option).
  • Include a link to your survey in an e-mail campaign to residents and business owners in your community.
  • Add a QR code to easily open your form from printed marketing materials.


Maintaining your data


All data submitted through your form will be kept secure in ArcGIS Online (or your own ArcGIS Enterprise organization if you happen to run on ArcGIS Enterprise). I am not a big fan of exporting data out into Microsoft Excel or other formats because the export output becomes obsolete as soon as someone adds a new record. Having copies of the data proliferate can also become an issue. Whenever possible, it is best to have everyone work against a single source.


You can use the Survey123 website to visualize, analyze and curate all data submitted. The Data and Analyze tabs within the Survey123 website are pretty easy to use, yet powerful.


I will emphasize here that you can not only view, but also curate all submitted data from the Data tab of your survey in the Survey123 website. All records submitted can be updated and deleted right from the table and individual response dialogs within the Data tab.


We did not talk much about the Analyze tab in this article, but you will find more info in the Understanding Your Results with the Analyze Tab post.


You can also use other tools within ArcGIS to look, analyze and curate your data. ArcGIS Pro, Web AppBuilder, etc are great examples.  All data in Survey123 resides in a standard ArcGIS Feature Layer, so anything you can do with a Feature Layer, you can also do to Survey123 data.


I hope the above was easy to follow. If you have additional questions or feedback, do not hesitate adding your comments below. Thanks!

A minor update to the Survey123 website and field app has just been made available. This new release includes a handful of critical issues:


  • BUG-000125792: Japanese and Chinese keyboards not working in the field app on iOS 13.
  • BUG-000125769: The Survey123 field app image gallery is unsorted on Android devices.
  • BUG-000125687: Attempting to publish or save a survey in the Survey123 website containing a multiple choice question with the choice name containing more than 32 characters fails with the error, "Errors when parse form."
  • Null geometry is submitted by the Survey123 web app if there’s no Geopoint question in the survey or the Geopoint question is left blank.
  • Corrupted characters being displayed in some languages in the field app on iOS 13.


The latest build number for the Survey123 field app on Android and iOS is now 3.6.157. The Windows version of Connect and then field app has not been updated. 


The source code of the Survey123 Enterprise Template in AppStudio for ArcGIS has also been updated to version 3.6.


In preparation for the 3.7 update, which is planned to be released before the end the year, we will shortly make the Beta builds of the Survey123 website and the field app available in the Survey123 Early Adopter Program.


UAS Flight Log

Posted by Josh_Shelton Oct 8, 2019

UAS Flight Log 

Using Survey123 to perform UAS preflight checklists and track UAS flight projects

By: Josh Shelton, GIS Manager, Pend Oreille County, Washington

      Eric Roth, County Surveyor, Pend Oreille County, Washington


UAS Launch Logo


Sometimes the most elegant solutions are the simplest. This was the thinking behind using Survey123 to transform what was a pen and paper menial task into a more efficient, portable and user-friendly digital workflow.

In this article, we will discuss our motivations to use Survey123 at Pend Oreille County to support UAS (Unmanned Aerial Aircraft) operations. We will also share details on our implementation, approach to engage with stakeholders and lessons learned.


Understanding the need and benefits of using a UAS in Pend Oreille County


Pend Oreille County, Washington is a scenic rural county in the northeastern corner of Washington state nestled against the state of Idaho and Canada. Pend Oreille County encompasses approximately 1500 square miles of lush coniferous forest and is divided by the Pend Oreille River, a major tributary of the Columbia River.


Pend Oreille County utilizes UAS primarily for gravel pit & stockpile quantity calculations. The benefit here is that our crews spend a third less time collecting data than it would take utilizing conventional survey methods. We also use UAS for roadway pre-design topography maps, bridge inspections, flood tracking, and land slide tracking. By using UAS for these situations, our personnel can operate the equipment from a remote location keeping them safe and out of harm’s way.

UAS Launch Location

UAS launch site prior to flight

Eric Roth, Pend Oreille County


Unlocking the potential of Survey123 – Empowering our Users


Being a rural county and an organization with less than 200 employees, at the Pend Oreille County GIS group we are constantly trying to think outside the box when it comes to improving workflows while maintaining our need to be fiscally responsible for our constituents.


In an effort to better facilitate collaboration and information sharing, the Pend Oreille County GIS staff formed an internal GIS user group in 2009. This group discusses new technologies, showcases new projects and shares ideas empowering our users to improve the way they work with GIS.


This is exactly what happened when the GIS Department showcased Survey123 to the group for the first time. We discussed the power and simplicity of Survey123 and showcased how easily smart forms can be created without the need for advanced GIS or developer skills. When our county surveyor saw the technology he immediately began thinking of ways he could leverage Survey123 to improve his own workflows. This ultimately led to the creation of the UAS Flight Log.


FAA regulations mandate that all UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) pilots perform and document a thorough preflight check on their equipment and surroundings. UAS flight logs must also be documented.

Commonly, preflight checks and flight logs are manually recorded on paper. Completing these paper forms is cumbersome and can lead to errors and even data loss. There are several reasons why Survey123 smart forms are a natural replacement for obsolete paper forms: 

  •  Survey123 runs on the same mobile devices that everyone already has. There is no need for an additional piece of paper when the form can be completed on your own mobile phone or tablet.
  • Survey123 smart forms streamline data capture, allowing UAS pilots to focus in areas of the preflight check and flight log that require more attention.
  • Certain critical information such as location, times and photos are particularly easy to capture with Survey123 in a systematic and accurate way. That is the opposite of what happens with traditional paper forms.
  • Survey123 forms can be easily synced with our ArcGIS organization. This reduces chances for data loss, eliminates transcription errors, and facilitates immediate access to this information for visualization, reporting and sharing.


The nuts and bolts of our survey design


The survey was developed entirely using the Survey123 web designer at The basic premise was to take the preflight checklists already being performed and recreate these in the survey. The added benefit here is that one could integrate post-flight observations as well as log our flight location and record the event with photos. The survey design is split into 4 logical sections:

UAS Flight Log
Form Summary


  • Flight Details – Here we record the following:
  1. Date of capture – This auto populates further simplifying the process
  2. Location – Uses device GPS to provide location or the user can select from the map.
  3. Purpose of flight – Comment field allowing for a customized description
  4. Photo of the UAS at the launch location – This helps to prove project location and UAS used, as well as the condition of the launch location
  5. Weather conditions – Comment field for customized descriptions
  6. Name of RPIC (Remote Pilot in Command) – Comment field for customized entry
  7. UAS pilot name, if different than the RPIC – Comment field for customized entry
  8. VO (Visual Observer(s)) names, if applicable – Comment field for customized entry
  • UAS Details – Here we record the Make and Model of the UAS.
  1. UAS Manufacturer – prepopulated dropdown containing the manufacturer of the UAS being used
  2. UAS Model – prepopulated dropdown containing the model of UAS being used
  • Pre-Flight Check List – This is a simple check list where the following items are “checked off” as they are inspected:
  1. Batteries charged and secure?
  2. Aircraft Hardware OK?
  3. Equipment & Gear OK?
  4. Remote Control OK?
  5. Propellers OK & Secured to UAS?
  6. Software & Firmware Versions Up to Date?
  7. Remote Control is Powered ON?
  8. UAS is Powered ON?
  9. UAS Compass is Calibrated?
  10. Camera is ON & Calibrated?
  11. UAS GPS is Functioning?
  12. Flight Control App is Running & Connected to UAS?
  13. Pre-Flight Notes – Here any ancillary information can be noted
  • Post-flight details – here we record flight start/stop times and note any post-flight observations
  1. Begin Flight – record the time the flight began
  2. End Flight – record the time the flight ended
  3. Post-Flight Notes – Records any additional observations


For those of you interested in seeing what we've done, here is the XLSForm


Using UAS for road and bridge inspection

Eric Roth, Pend Oreille County


Lessons Learned and next steps


From a GIS management perspective, the ability for our non-GIS personnel to develop and put into production their own data collection tools has been essential to success. Inspiring and empowering county personnel to implement GIS technology for their own needs has allowed GIS personnel to focus efforts on other tasks which help our organization improve the information, tools, and services we provide and utilize. It’s been said that necessity drives innovation and in this case the need to simplify a simple redundant workflow is proof that there is room for improvement in the seemingly most simplistic of tasks.


The use of Survey123 for UAS operations validated major benefits.


  • Ease of use – The intuitive design of the Survey123 mobile app facilitates rapid, efficient data capture with minimum training.
  • Flexibility – Using Survey123 web designer, smart forms can easily and timely be modified to match new requirements.
  • Reliability – Paper forms can easily be damaged or misplaced and handwritten notes are often illegible or difficult to decipher. Survey123 form data is directly stored in ArcGIS as soon as the mobile device as network connectivity. Using ArcGIS Online provides us with security and peace of mind that the data will be there should the need arise where we need to go back and review prior projects.
  • Portability – The Survey123 app is supported on a wide range of devices and platforms allowing us to easily make use of existing devices such as smartphones, tablets, etc.
  • Offline capability – Our operating areas are rugged and remote. Reliable network access is not always available making offline collection a necessity.
  • Longevity – Since the records are stored digitally within our ArcGIS Online organization and can be manually archived, we can guarantee access to the data into the future increasing the value and return on our investment.


Not only were we able to achieve our goals but we’ve helped reduce the time it takes to prepare and perform a flight. We can now get up to date imagery of our public works projects, use the imagery in conjunction with Drone2Map to calculate volumes of sand and gravel piles before road projects and in preparation of sanding roads in the winter. We’ve also helped to improve the safety of our employees by using the UAS to perform inspections on bridges that are often difficult and unsafe to survey manually. This critical return on our investment has helped to solidify the sustainable use of UAS technologies in our everyday workflows. Talks are currently underway to expand the use of UAS technologies to other departments in the hopes that it will add further improvements to our workflow processes.


Josh Shelton is the GIS Manager for Pend Oreille County in Washington state. Josh has been doing GIS and supporting the county for over 11 years. Pend Oreille County GIS supports all county departments and strives to help empower people to use GIS technologies to better themselves, the organization and the communities in which we live. Josh loves the outdoors and has an enthusiasm for technology, it’s this passion and drive which enables him to continually push the boundaries and think outside the box providing technologies and solutions to county personnel and their constituents.


Eric Roth is the County Surveyor for Pend Oreille County. Eric has been a licensed surveyor in Washington state for over 15 years and has been working for Pend Oreille County for the last 3 years. His love of surveying and technology led him to create the first UAS program in the county. Since the program’s inception, Eric has been working on ways to make the program more efficient, safe and cost effective.

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