GIS Day Release (2.5)

11-21-2017 11:07 AM
Esri Frequent Contributor
13 28 7,371

Jack Dangermond credits Ralph Nader with being the person who inspired the creation of GIS Day. He considered GIS Day a good initiative for people to learn about geography and the uses of GIS. He wanted GIS Day to be a grassroots effort and open to everyone to participate.

GIS Day was first held in November 1999 by the National Geographic Society, Association of American Geographers (AAG) and Esri. It is celebrated since then the third week of November, coinciding with National Geographic Society's Geography Awareness Week.

Our 2.5 release includes updates to the Survey123 website, Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS and the Survey123 field app across all supported platforms. Make sure you refresh your browser cache and get the latest Connect and field app from the Survey123 download page.

Survey123 website

Remember to clear you  web browser cache to make sure you get the greatest and latest from this update:

Survey Publishing Enhancements (Modify Schema)

With Survey123 web designer, you can visually create surveys right from your web browser.  Our vision with web designer is to provide the simplest experience possible for building powerful smart forms.  Survey123 web designer, in fact, does a lot for you under the covers including automatically building a fully functional ArcGIS feature service where data from your survey will get persisted.  Up until this release, you could not control the exact characteristics of the fields in your feature service. This is not typically an issue except when you want to download the data to Microsoft Excel, CSV or other formats like Shapefiles.

Starting with this release, we added an option in the Publish Survey dialog that lets you modify the schema of your survey's feature service.  You can control the exact name that will be given to fields, define the values to be stored when using choice lists and even the maximum length of text fields.

Please note that you will not be able to change  the schema of fields that already exist in your feature service.  For  example, when you publish your survey for the first time, you will be able to modify the schema for all questions in your survey. However, if you publish the same survey again, you will only be able to modify the schema for new questions in your survey.

Delete a survey while preserving the data

Starting with this release, the Delete Survey dialog in the Survey123 website includes a handy option that will let you optionally preserve all data you captured.   If you choose to delete all collected data, your survey will be removed along with its feature service.  If you choose this option, you may want to first make a backup copy of your data first. 

Changes to the Data tab

The Data tab in the Survey123 website lets you explore all collected data using a map, a table and an individual response format. We made a handful of changes:

  • A new refresh button lets you more easily update the map and table to get the latest data from your survey.
  • You can now more easily drag the table view over the map to split the screen in between the two views.
  • The Individual Response view includes a new settings dialog from which you can control the size of photos retrieved into your report.
  • Click on photos in the Individual Response reports to open a detailed view which will let you also see EXIF metadata, if available, including location, direction, camera and size.

Other enhancements and fixes in the Survey123 website

  • A new keyboard shortcut for saving your work in web designer has been enabled: Ctrl+S (Cmd+S in Mac).
  • Multiple fixes allow the Analyze and Individual Response reports to better handle surveys with Groups and Repeats.

Survey123 Field App and Connect Enhancements

Disable the Sent box in the Survey123 field app

Through a new survey-level setting in Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS you can now disable the Sent box in the Survey123 field app. This setting has been requested by a handful of organizations who, for security reasons, want to ensure that data already submitted to ArcGIS is completely erased from the device.  Disabling the Sent boxis also handy if you want to prevent users from copying previously sent surveys to create new ones.


If you already have published a survey and you want to apply this setting, field users will need to delete their local copy of their survey first, and then download the survey again.  Simply refreshing the survey from the Download page will not take effect, unless the Sent box in the device is already empty.

For more info, check this help topic.

Extract Exif metadata from photos using the pulldata() function

The pulldata() XLSForm function has been extended so you can extract Exif metadata from photos.  This allows you to store the Exif metadata as attributes of your features, making it possible to use this information easily once stored in ArcGIS.

Information such as the date-time and location where the photo was taken are stored as Exif metadata. You can also retrieve information about the camera used to take the photo, its dimensions etc  

The syntax for extracting Exif data is as follows:

pulldata("@exif", ${image}, "gpslatitude")

The first parameter indicates that the pulldata() function will be used to extract Exif metadata. The second parameter indicates the question in your XLSForm with the image. The third parameter defines the name of the Exif metadata to be extracted. Depending on the camera used to take the photo, Exif metadata can include more than 100 tags.

For a detailed list of common tags available, look at the Exif XLSForm included in Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS:

  1. Open Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS
  2. Click on New Survey
  3. Find the Exif survey in the Samples category
  4. Set a title to your new survey and create it
  5. The list of tags is located in the choices worksheet

Survey123 Connect publishing enhancements

Survey123 Connect will no longer overwrite your survey feature service when attempting to add new questions to an already published survey.  A new dialog will prompt you to confirm that new fields should be added to your feature service.

A side effect of this enhancement may cause you some confusion when attempting to re-publish surveys with notes in your XLSForm.   If the Publish dialog indicates that new fields will be added for your note questions, simply go back to your XLSForm and remove the value of your note question in the name field of the survey worksheet.  Notes should not include a name! You can learn more about notes in 

New XLSForm Community Surveys and Samples in Survey123 Connect

The Create New Survey dialog in Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS includes many functional XLSForms in the Community and Samples categories.  You can use these surveys as a starting point to your own. This update includes new XLSForms:

  • Exif (Sample): Included in the Samples category, illustrates how to use the pulldata() function to extract EXIF metadata from photos in your survey.
  • Smart Sketching (Sample): This sample illustrates how to use the draw and annotate appearances on image questions to enable smart sketching on an empty canvas, a photo or a predefined image.
  • Spike (Sample): This functionality is in Beta and shows how to integrate Survey123 with Spike. More information at Video Link : 4237 
  • Cardenal Amarillo (Community): A simple survey used to capture observations of Gubernatrix cristatain Argentina. This survey is a good example of how to include questions in your survey to record audio. It also shows how to include audio files in your survey so they can be played from your device.
  • Pesticide use Log (Community): A survey for helping private pesticide applicators record the location and weather conditions where pesticide is applied.

Other Survey123 Field App and Connect Enhancements and fixes

  • A slider control in the camera widget now lets you apply optical zoom to take detailed photos.
  • Read-only questions are now supported in the Survey123 field app Inbox.
  • BUG-000107126: Disallow the ability to bypass certificate verification warnings in Survey123 for ArcGIS field app.
  • BUG-000108290: Unable to collect geopoint locations on Android devices using a Trimble GNSS bluetooth receiver when configuring the device with a mock location and GPS-only enabled.
  • BUG-000100273:  Importing data from Survey123 for ArcGIS into a geodatabase in Oracle returns an error "The Field is a keyword in the destination DBMS (cannot rename).[rowid].
  • BUG-000108893: Using Survey123 for ArcGIS field app, if a survey is taken while Offline, then the device is switched to Online, pending surveys in the Outbox will fail to send with Code 0.
  • ENH-000100907: Provide documentation for silent and/or unattended installation for Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS.
  • ENH-000104929: Support Single Sign On (SSO) experience for Survey123 Connect when using SAML-based Identity Provider (ADFS).
  • Clearing and recalculating a dateTime question that uses the now() function now updates the value to the current date and time instead of the date and time from when the form was first loaded.
  • The source code of both Survey123 Connect and the Survey123 field app have been updated in AppStudio for ArcGIS.
Tags (1)
Esri Frequent Contributor

Additional Survey123 Field App and Connect Enhancements and fixes

  • BUG-000108893: Using Survey123 for ArcGIS field app, if a survey is taken while Offline, then the device is switched to Online, pending surveys in the Outbox will fail to send with Code 0.
  • ENH-000100907: Provide documentation for silent and/or unattended installation for Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS.
  • ENH-000104929: Support Single Sign On (SSO) experience for Survey 123 Connect when using SAML-based Identity Provider (AD FS).
Regular Contributor

awesome! great job dev. team!

Occasional Contributor III

What is the default setting in Survey123 Connect for the Disable Sent Items Box?


Esri Regular Contributor


The 'Sent box' is set to be Enabled by default.  In order to disable the Sent box, you need to apply the change in the Settings > Sent Surveys options within Survey123 Connect prior to publishing your survey.  It is explained in further detail, here...

Learn more about the Sent box

Regular Contributor

Hi All

Can you please change (back?) to having Survey123 in the User-Agent header?

Was in iOS, though not Android for version 2.4.

Now not in either iOS / Android.

Currently displays Mozilla.


Esri Esteemed Contributor


Is the User-Agent lacking in the web form (as viewed in mobile devices) or in the field app?

Regular Contributor

Hi James

I have only looked at the app one gets from the AppStore / GooglePlay

This occurs during the initial (attempt) to login.


Esri Esteemed Contributor


We'll take a look at it and look to correct the behavior.

Regular Contributor

Hi James

A pre-emptive  thank you very much.

New Contributor III

Has there been any talk of support for the 'position()' function yet?

Esri Esteemed Contributor

Hi Max,

the position() function is in our enhancement list for providing XLSForm compatibility.  Can I ask what specific use case you need the function for?

New Contributor III

Hi James - I would like to use pulldata() to dynamically populate a repeat group with default values.  The caveat being that there is a varying number of records in the repeat (related table) for each parent record (survey).  See this post for a more detailed discussion: 

Esri Esteemed Contributor

Thanks Max,

Having the use case helps us understand the need/importance and also provides us scenarios to test against when we do implement the functionality (for instance, I was able to test with the web form, which does support this functionality).  I've aded the use case our internal issue for the position function.

New Contributor III

So the web form does support the position() function? I’m a bit confused…

Esri Esteemed Contributor

Hi Max,

We haven't formally tested support for position, but in a preliminary test of your use case (which also required the selected-at and choice-label functions) appeared to work properly.

New Contributor III


Any chance you would be willing to share the form?

Esri Esteemed Contributor

For some reason, GeoNet is pulling up the advanced editor to share the form


select_multiple deptdeptsDepartments that use GIS:
begin repeatdept_useDepartment Use:count-selected(${depts})
calculatedept_selif(position(..)-1 < count-selected(${depts}), selected-at(${depts}, position(..)-1), -1)null
calculatedept_labeljr:choice-name(${dept_sel}, '${depts}')null
integernum_usersNumber of users in ${dept_label}:
textuse_descriptionHow is GIS used in ${dept_label}:multiline1000
end repeat


New Contributor III

Thank you James, I have not yet had a chance to test this, but as my target audience will be using the web form anyway I am excited to see if this will work for me!

New Contributor III

Does the "disable sent box" also work in the browser app? We want to use this to prevent users sending duplicate surveys.

Esri Esteemed Contributor

Hi Niels,

There isn't an equivalent concept of the Sent Box in the web form's context.  In the web designer, you can specify that a submitter is allowed or not allowed to send a second survey.

Regular Contributor

Hi James

This was not fixed in the 2.6 release.

Any chance for 2.7?


Esri Esteemed Contributor


We researched this and are little bit confused.  The requests for login occur via a web view, and thus appear with the headers of the web browser on device.  We checked back to 1.10 and we it looks like Survey123 was not it the request at any point back to then (not seeing it in 2.4).

Regular Contributor

Hi James

Thank you for taking the time to research.

I am also confused as we have a rule in our load balancer that uses this user agent setting ... and it is now broken.

I saw it on an iPhone for 2.4. It was not on Android at 2.4.

The other mobile apps provide some variation of their name in the user agent field.

Can you please force the user agent to Survey123 (or the like) anyways.


New Contributor III

Can we also use this for forms that are designed in Survey123 connect? 

When using the websditor using "" I get an error "cannot get feature service layer / table url"

New Contributor II

Hi James,

Are there any plans to add the inbox or sent item capabilities to the web designer settings?



Esri Esteemed Contributor

Hi Niels,

Because Survey123 Connect supports more options in terms of smart from settings, we cannot alter forms authored in Survey123 Connect with the web designer.

Esri Esteemed Contributor

Hi Susan,

We don't currently have plans to introduce settings for those functions on the website; that being said, I've logged your request so that we may consider it in the future.

New Contributor II

Thanks James, appreciate your response and logging the request,