Survey123 ios Bad Elf

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08-13-2018 03:57 PM
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New Contributor III

We are using Survey123 on an ipad and using a Bad Elf external GPS

The GPS is definitely connected to the ipad as i can see the position in the ios bad elf app

All documentation says that survey 123 will use the bad elf positioning however

the x y and accuracy are different in survey123

I am pulling data so that the x y and accuracy info is populating a field within the survey.  The accuracy in the survey is often 5 or 10 (no decimal places), however the bad elf is showing sub meter accuracy to 2 decimal places.

In the survey the x, y and accuracy are 'decimal' and I have copied the methodolgy for pulling data from the location -  pulldata("@geopoint", ${location},"horizontalAccuracy") 

I will hide the field so that the users cant see this discrepency but am concerned we have wasted our money on bad elfs if they are not being used within survey123

Has anyone else had survey123/ios/Bad Elf issues?

Thankyou

John

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8 Replies
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Esri Regular Contributor

Hi John,

Which version of Survey123 have you been testing with?  If you have not attempted to do so already, I would recommend accessing our 'Alpha' version of Survey123, available through our Early Adopter Community.

This Alpha version supports the ability to utilize external receivers (including the Bad Elf Surveyor) by directly connecting to the receiver and accessing the raw location information (NMEA strings) and associated metadata.

Please test this out and let us know your results.

Early Adopter community: Welcome to our Feedback Community

Brandon

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New Contributor III

Hi Brandon

Thanks for prompt reply

We are using version 3.0.127

I will try the alpha version however..

Can you confirm that the bad elf data is not used in survey 123 in the non alpha version? If not when will it be available in the production version? From all the documentation I was led to believe that this was an existing feature.

We are just starting on a big asset data collection program and have purchased 20 ipads and 20 bad elfs.

Can we install the alpha version on the 20 ipads or do I need to get the 20 named users to register for the alpha program

Thankyou

Regards

John

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Esri Esteemed Contributor

Hi John,

When the Bad Elf device is connected to iOS, it does override the system's location provider- Survey123 does receive the location information.  That being said, as our note in https://community.esri.com/groups/survey123/blog/2016/11/03/extracting-information-from-geopoint-que... indicates, the additional metadata such as horizontal accuracy is not provided correctly by the system location provider.

In development versions of the software cannot be used for production purposes, both by Esri's and Apple's terms of use for the respective beta programs (Esri Early Adopter Community, Apple TestFlight).  

If high accuracy collection (or collection with known horizontal accuracy from an external receiver) is required for a project in the near term (before direct connection to GNSS is supported in Survey123), I would suggest using Collector for the geometry collection and sending that into the Survey form - see https://community.esri.com/groups/survey123/blog/2017/05/31/blog-high-accuracy-gps-data-collection-o... for information on this process.

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New Contributor III

Thankyou James

I want to keep using survey123 as I have a 4 level hierarchy to capture the asset type which I don’t think will function in Collector. I have set up surveys to launch from collector but I want to keep things as simple as possible as this will be the first mobile app this group has used.

I might just hide the horizontal accuracy field within the survey and make sure the users look at the bad elf to ensure they have required level of accuracy. I will also instruct them to look at the bad elf app occasionally to ensure the bad elf is connected.

Thankyou

John

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New Contributor II

Just got a Apple I Pad today and installed Bad Elf Software and GPS. I can see in the Bad Elf software that I am receiving sat information, but not in the survey 123 app that I am using. The app keeps giving the message "No data received. 

I am using Survey 123 version 3.6158

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Esri Esteemed Contributor

Hi Jeff,

Have you configured the connection to the Bad Elf receiver per Use a high-accuracy receiver—Survey123 for ArcGIS | Documentation ?

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New Contributor II

The IPAD IOS system gps works in combination with cell data and gps data.

When you do not have an cell card in the IPAD, the location services do not work.

That is why Survey 123 and Bad Elf are not talking with one another.

We will be doing a another test with an IPAD that does have an cell card

Jeff Cook, Outdoor Recreation Analyst

Recreation Bureau

Idaho Deparment of Parks & Recreation

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Frequent Contributor II

In our testing a bad elf was no better than the tablet GPS.  

Check out this blog here.  

https://www.agsgis.com/Bluetooth-GPSGNSS-For-Mobile-GIS-Field-Tested-and-Compared_b_38.html 

They did a ton of testing on units.  Really comes down to the size of the antenna more than anything.  

We also rented some units form them.  Bad elf was again no better than tablet so not worth the cost or time setting it up.

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