Survey123: Best approach for selecting location from restricted list of villages

05-27-2020 09:32 AM
New Contributor II

We're a non-profit working in a remote area in Asia where there are over 1,400 villages with multiple names due to 53 languages in the region.  

We have a definitive master list of village names and IDs.

At the start of a new Survey123 form... we want users to 'look up' the village from the master list so that we can lock the survey to that village.  The form maybe entered 'onsite' or 'offsite' so we can't rely on gathering lat / long at point of entry.

This is also an area where there is limited, if any mobile data available.  So the form needs downloading before users enter an area where there is no signal.  We also need to publish the survey beyond our staff team to hundreds of volunteer healthworkers. It is not possible to purchase login IDs for all these users.

We've been able to create a Survey123 form linked to a 'feature service' which pulls village data into a Survey123 'inbox'.   This comes from an existing web layer / map with unique village names and latitude / longitude data.  But when publishing this form, it seems to require users to 'login' to refresh the inbox.   

1) Is this the right method to use? Are there any other approaches we can take to having a 'long searchable list' of village names at the start of a survey so that the survey data is correctly linked to a unique village ID? 

2) Are we doing something wrong in the above method? Is there a way for users to download the inbox without logging in?  We've shared the web layer as public already.

Thank you for your help,

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3 Replies
Esri Esteemed Contributor

Hi Chris,

Apologies for the delay in response.  The Inbox (editing existing records) is not supported for public surveys.  Another approach that might work better in general would be to prepare an offline map package with the village information and use Explorer in conjunction with Survey123 - the user would be able to browse the map in Explorer, and you could configure a hyperlink to open the form with correct value from the village list.

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New Contributor II

Hi James, really appreciate your response.  At the moment I'm doing a 'bulk edit' of a single choice drop down or using the desktop editor, but the list of villages is pretty long! 

Going back to your proposed solution.. 

Is the workflow that you are suggesting:
- user downloads Explorer
- Navigates Explorer using an offline map to find the village they are in or clicks on 'find me' arrow to locate themselves
- User then clicks on village name, which hyper links to launch a survey in Survey123?

Am I understanding you correctly?

If so...  two questions:
- Doesn't the Explorer app need an Esri Login to use it and download a map?  If so, I'm unsure of how this would work for a public survey... Or is there a way to add an offline map package to Explorer without the person logging in?
- If the latter is true - do you know of a link to how to get an offline map into Explorer?  Can this include a basemap?

We are working across a vast region of jungle in western Myanmar (Burma)... so interested in what is possible.

Thanks again for your help

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MVP Notable Contributor

Is there a reason you are not just using external choices?  Why does it need to link to a feature service?  I would think the names do not change all that often.

If you want to see a map of towns with them on the map you could link content in or have a basemap for 123 or Collector.  Or the low tech way would be to create a geo PDF and use something like Avenza for the map.  That way it is easy to distribute and use -it also shows your current location on the map.

Hope that helps.

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