Unique Site Names for Re-Surveying

09-09-2020 05:09 PM
New Contributor III

Hello All.

I am working on a project where sites are going to be tracked over time. There are approximately 5,000 sites, of which 1,000 have been previously surveyed using paper-based surveys. 

We are working with a large group of volunteers so we are worried about how to ensure that sites are named the same throughout the project. 

We are hoping to come up with a way that we can name the sites, possibly based on the geopoint locations. Ultimately we would like for the volunteers to go out and re-survey the sites.

Based on the above, I am not sure if there is:

  1. a good way to name the sites collected in the field based on geopoint locations
  2. a way to query if the site, based on the geopoint location, has been previously surveyed so that people do not perform multiple surveys at the same location and so that the sites can be re-surveyed

Basically I am looking to see if anyone else has addressed this issue before, or if there is an efficient way for us to manage the names of the sites.

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3 Replies
MVP Esteemed Contributor

I am doing something similar using Arcade in Collector.

We are basing the Key on the ID plus the date sampled.  I use Arcade to do this on the fly in Collector then I pass that to 123.  Bonus with Collector is everyone can see others points, the last samples, etc.  Also great for getting them to the correct location.

I could see how this would be complex for volunteers though.  You could calculate a key using date sampled in 123 however.  Maybe even add in the user name in case 2 people go in the same day.   Or like you said add in a key using the original name plus the lat/long rounded down like Point35_45.345_85.003 or something like that.  Still possible you could end up with a dup though.

Also you can show maps in 123 now that have the previous points on it I think.

Hope that helps.

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New Contributor III

Hi Doug,

I just presented the survey using the calculation key that you mentioned above. We had a drop-down questions for area and then I passed the lat and long for "areaname_lat_long". Unfortunately the powers to be were not too pleased with this solution.

Here is their issue. And again, we do not have a budget to use Collector, even though that is functionality that they want to be able to have in this project.

They are hoping that sites can be resurveyed over time. However, there are two issues that we are running into with using a large group of volunteers and using Survey123.

First, there is no way to make sure that we have a standard naming convention, beyond the solution above. Second, if a site has been surveyed, you cannot interact with the feature layers in the survey to resurvey them. 

I think that you can display the features (points) on a custom basemap, however this does not seem to be possible for offline maps? About 90% of the sites are outside of cell phone range. Also, I am not sure if you could display the name of the points on the basemaps, be they online or offline, so that people would be able to enter the name and choose resurvey from the options of survey types. 

Alternatively, there is the option to try and find a post processing option, that would look for points that are within a certain range of one another, sort by dates, etc... My brain is not working right now and cannot think of a way to bring the data into ArcMap and do something that would allow you to see if sites have been previously surveyed. Maybe there is not a resurvey option and everything is just a survey and there is a post processing solution.

I feel like I am grasping for straws here and not really having any brilliant ideas, though it is Friday.

Thanks for your help and have a great one.

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New Contributor III

Hi Doug

Thank you for idea. We are unfortunately limited in budget and cannot adopt Collector as a solution. We are expecting to have upwards of 100 volunteers collecting field data and cannot afford to sign all of them up for Collector subscriptions. 

Even if we figure out how to name the sites in a manageable way, the issue that we are running into now is being able to re-survey the sites that have been previously surveyed so that we can track changes over time. As we understand it, Survey123 does not offer the user the ability to actually click on points on the map, navigate to those points, and then edit the feature layer as you can do in Collector? I am going to post a separate question about this re-surveying issue that we are having. 

Thanks again for the naming solution. 

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