Add streaming feature to geotrace/geoshape in Survey123

10-08-2019 09:09 AM
Status: Implemented
New Contributor II

A streaming feature (similar to Collector) would be helpful for creating geotrace and geoshape features in Survey123.  The current vertex method does not allow for a user to easily collect a feature by streaming.

It would be great to keep streaming active until I stop streaming in the map toolbar.

Thanks for your consideration,


Thanks for submitting this idea. Are there particular parameters for point acceptability while streaming that you need to honor?  Do you need a vertex based on a time interval, distance interval, or both?  Providing details of your collection requirements will be helpful in shaping this feature.


Hi James,

Thanks for reaching out.  I think a vertex based on a time interval would be sufficient (especially if the user or designer of the form could set the parameter), a distance interval would also be useful (so both would be awesome).  Being able to manually add and delete vertices after streaming but before finalizing could also be nice.

Making it similar to Collector streaming would be a great first step.



Submitting a stream or bread crumb trail as a geotrace item is a great idea and we're either always making workarounds or doing without and frustrated.

I'd like to see it working more seamlessly in Survey123.

Can be done in Collector to Survey123, but a bit cumbersome to insert and train others how to design or kluge this with a deliberate workflow.

Currently it is easier to track the path in another software within the same device or a different device and download and merge the track clipped to the start and end time of the Survey123 form then import the feature into the project.

Either it is awkward or overly complex front end planning or backend post processing that needs to be eliminated so it matches the fantastic workflow efficiencies of Survey123.

Currently the ability to do this in conjunction with Collector is working, but below optimal.

Scenario- we have observers, we need to document where they went while completing the form and taking photos while they are on a property being monitored for compliance with an easement.

For example was observer where they were supposed to be?

Did they cover the minimum effort of expected observation during the completion of the form for quality of work assessment to make the observation valid?

Here are basic functional requirements for a monitoring a site within one Survey123 form.

1. Track location of device/observer (streamed coordinates in a geotrace record) from once form is opened to when form is closed automatically.

2. Initiate tracking of location using streamed coordinates within the form with a begin and end button click event so observer can capture a path for part of their observation -- or triggered based upon a clock value for a timed transect search.

3. Initiate a stream to a geotrace in a repeated form element for simultaneous tracks that may be serial or co-temporal and need to be stopped en masse or individually (this is the lowest priority)

4. Collect point (e.g. photo monitoring) or other geoshape or geotrace (e.g. dumping violation, invasive species, etc.) while streaming coordinate collection into a tracklog (geotrace) for the form in the background. (this is the highest priority)
5. Create track feature and tag them specially when uploaded to Survey123 form record, for example as a tracking layer Track where collectors go—Collector for ArcGIS (Classic) | ArcGIS 

6. Set streaming collection parameters for distance or time interval. Also, have two tracks running in sequence collecting both for different reasons, e.g. collect stored coordinates by time elapsed (raw as received, for every second, every 10 seconds, etc. for walking vs. driven surveys) and for distance (collect every 10 feet, 1 kilometer, etc)


Yaw Anokawa did a great job implementing it in ODK in 2018.
Here's that parallel feature request in different XLSForms type tool
Collect: Extend audit log to include GPS coordinates - Features - ODK Forum 

By the way, is this a new idea or simply an extension of the Geotrace functionality?


Hi Joseph,

Thanks for the details.  I will mention one of the cases you mention (#5) is served through the Tracker for ArcGIS functionality.  Given that geotrace is already implemented, streaming is a seperate entry in the ArcGIS Ideas system.


Thanks James,
I was testing that last year and put it down, I have tracker on device and will look at workflow again.


Also looking at how this proposed feature extends this program linked below in a really important way:
Conservation Easement Monitoring | ArcGIS Solutions for State Government 
Staff went with Avenza Pro in the interim because they can't include track in visit in Survey123 as easily as they would like.


Joseph's request is just what I am looking for.  I would like to have ability to to start a geopoint survey, then have a track line recorded within that survey.  An example how this would be used for me:  We have many unauthorized road systems illegally created.  Currently we have a survey that documents a single point to show the start of the illegal road system.  This give us a reference point to go back with equipment to close it.  Since this is not a designated road system it is not mapped anywhere, but we need to keep a log of the length of illegal road we closed.  Currently we use Collector or other options to track the length.  We have a large amount of employees that use this survey that vary in skill sets when it comes to technology.  Being able to keep it all in one survey would receive more by-in from employees.  

So, in short, a way to start and stop collecting a polyline (similar to Collector) in Survey123 would be a huge benefit to the program. 


The ability to stream data collection, or to select multiple existing features and collect data in Survey123 would be helpful in my situation as well. I work for an electric utility. The linemen are required to patrol so many miles of line a month. As they are driving, they look at the conductor and poles in a brief inspection. They would like to be able to start streaming, drive to their destination, and stop streaming to collect the Line Patrol data.

Another option would be to automatically select all of the existing features they drive within 30 feet of and then collect Line Patrol data on those features.


Is there any timeline for when streaming might be introduced into Survey123? We currently use Survey123 for field data collection because it is easy to implement and has the capability of anonymous editors.

However we now also need to capture lines as well as points. Since this is not possible in Survey123 we are looking at implementing it in Field Notes. Although Field Notes is more powerful, it requires that our volunteer field workers learn another App, and also requires that we get more ArcGIS Online licenses since a login is required for Field Notes.