Which field app to use? Collector, Survey 123, or a custom Web app?

02-14-2020 07:35 AM
New Contributor III

Hi there, this is my first time asking a question on GeoNet. Pre-apologize if this is re-asking a question but I have reviewed similar questions that I can relate to snippets of mine, however, want to see the ideas come together. Here is my ask: 

I want to create a field app for my field staff to collect UAV flight survey information. I have attached the current paper excel spreadsheet that they use. I am having a hard time deciding which app/ combination of apps I should use. 

1) Collector and Survey123: this was my first option I explored. The pilot's would ideally mark a point in collector that would be their take-off/landing location and draw a polygon for their flight path. I would then use the URL scheme to open up a Survey 123 form from the point feature in collector to satisfy the rest of the form requirements. The for would need to pull the XY location from the point in collector. I know that adding the correct lat/long fields to the point deature class can satisfy this: Integrate with other apps—Survey123 for ArcGIS | Documentation  and: https://community.esri.com/groups/survey123/blog/2016/07/30/understanding-survey123s-custom-url-sche...  

So that is all good, however, I want to take it a step further by adding a geoprocessing service in order for the take-off/landing location point to automatically locate the nearest 3 aerodrome locations, pull the name and distance of each aerodrome location to then add that information to the Survey 123 form. That begs the question then if a behind the scenes geoprocessing tool - like near or near table, could be linked and activated when pilots place the take/off landing point. From what I can see, Survey 123 nor collector could use a geoprocessing service? I am not a developer and was looking for more of an off the shelf solution. Which brings it to option 2. 

2) Custom web app with survey 123: Would this be a better option than collector in order for pilots to add a point/ polygon layer, have geoprocessing capabilities, and to also be able to satisfy the other site survey requirements? 

Again, my head starts spinning when looking at the multitude of app options. Which one would be best/ combination of apps to use for a non-developer to create a user-friendly field app?  

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Esri Esteemed Contributor

Hi Emma,

For a general overview of the collection apps, please refer to Form app comparison—Survey123 for ArcGIS | Documentation .  

With regard to your question about integrating a custom geoprocessing task (or possibly a spatial query), you are correct that neither Survey123 nor Collector have support for this at this time. There is a beta feature in Survey123 that would allow for this (Custom JavaScript Functions); if you are interested, take a look at Welcome to our Customer Validation site. .