Reverse geocoding in Survey123 with BNG and What3Words locators

10-14-2020 08:55 AM
Regular Contributor

Our Survey123 form utilises multiple locators for our surveyors. The survey is intended for use in Britain, and so makes use of the BNG locator as well as What3Words (in addition to the ArcGIS world geocoding service). I am experiencing different errors with the two locators. Both show up in the list of locators in Survey123 maps and work correctly in ArcGIS Online Maps. Both locators are also in our list of geolocators (Settings > Utilitiy services > Geocoding).

Firstly, when trying to reverse geocode using the BNG locator in a Survey123 form map, I get the following error:

Requested operation is not supported by this service.

Is there any way around this? I have searched for this error but come up blank.

Secondly, after following the What3Words tutorial for using their locator in Survey123, I had it working briefly in Survey123 forms but now get the following error when trying to search or reverse geocode with the What3Words locator in Survey123: 

You do not have permissions to access this resource of perform this operation.

Again, searches have come up blank for the cause of this error message.

In both instances I am signed in as the administrator (and also creator of the survey forms), and have shared the locators with relevant groups in ArcGIS Online that I am a member of.

Any help is appreciated.


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2 Replies
Esri Esteemed Contributor

Hi Rob,

Looking at the BNG locator, it appear that it does not support reverse geocoding - this a property that would be enabled by the service author.  Given that this is hosted by Esri UK, you may want to reach out to them to understand what the best reverse geocode solution might be - perhaps Carmel Connolly‌ could help identify an appropriate contact?

On the What3Words locator, the error message might indicate the sharing is mis-set on the embedded locator or the API key used asa. password is no longer valid.  Does the locator work in the ArcGIS Online Map Viewer (As mentioned as the last step of 'Making it available to your team' in the W3W tutorial doc)?

Regular Contributor

Hi James,

Thanks for the response. I've since had some feedback from ESRI UK on the BNG locator and as you have said, have stated that it currently doesn't support reverse geocoding. I have given them a description of the use case in the event they are able to implement an enhancement. 

It would be a really valuable capability in the future to be able to pull bng locator values in to a Survey123 field whenever a user records something in a geopoint field for many of our surveys, as it would save us having to do post-hoc conversion. Many of our surveyors are so used to using British National Grid references that displaying anything else to them will come across as a bit alien.

For the What3Words issue, the error was also raised with What3Words and before their support team got a chance to look at it, it resolved itself so I am still none the wiser about the cause of the issue but it is working now. Yes the locator was working in the AGOL Map Viewer. I also double-checked the API key etc. but this was all correct. 

Thanks for your help.