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Easy way to update feature layer when changing survey questions.

03-13-2022 09:31 PM
Occasional Contributor II


I am working on the second iteration of a data collection project using Survey123 and now Field Maps that has already collected just under 3,000 features. The client wants to change some of the questions that were used in the first iteration as well as adding some additional questions that were not originally asked but have now become important for the project.

  1. What is the best way to include and/or combine the already collected features with the new features collected in the updated survey? I am pretty sure that I cannot use the same feature layer as was used in the originally collected data since the columns (attributes) will be changing. I will have to create a new survey and will not be using the old survey since the questions will be changing. Would it be better to try and combine the old data with the new data somehow?

The data feeds into a dashboard and will be used in the field maps version of the study where people will be updating the features that have already been collected so I am hoping to not loose what has already been collected.

Thank you for any suggestions about how to do this.   

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1 Reply
Esri Regular Contributor

Hello @GarrettRSmith

A couple of options are: 

- Save your XLSForm as a new survey, make the changes you need, then append the records from survey A to survey B

- Another option (likely more friendly for your use case) would be to modify the feature service directly (add new fields directly to the feature service), if any of the fields need to be renamed you can add it as a new field with the updated name and then field calculate the value. Once the feature service schema is as desired you can make the updates to the surveys XLSForm and republish. 

Please refer to this table for more information as to what changes in your XLSForm would require recreating the feature service. 

Thank you,
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