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Ways to Name and Re-Survey Sites (Points) in the Field

Question asked by GarrettRSmith on Sep 22, 2020
Latest reply on Oct 8, 2020 by GarrettRSmith



We are working with a group of around 100 volunteers on a citizen science field collection project. In our study area we have upwards of 5,000 sites that are going to be surveyed by the citizen scientists in the field. We are hoping that these sites can and will be tracked over time so we can identify sites that have changed for the better and sites that have changed for the worse over the years. 


We are running into two main issues and/or limitations with using Survey123 that I am not sure can be solved. With so many volunteers that will be engaged in the project, we do not have the budget to use Collector, which would probably offer more functionality. 


Below are our two biggest issues.


  1. We do not know how to successfully implement a naming convention for the sites. We are mostly concerned with users naming multiple sites with the same name. For example, if I were to go out to a site and name it Burmac_001, how could we ensure that someone else did not name their site the same name? Is there a way to have a list of names that have already been created attached to the survey? Or a more efficient way to do this. I can imagine that if we have Burmac_001-Burmac_100 already in use, it would get annoying for people to try and input 101 names before they get to Burmac_101.
  2.  We are not aware of a way to be able to re-survey sites in the field. It is important for users, when they go out, to see if the sites they are at have been previously surveyed and if they have how they re-survey the site using Survey123. From our understanding, the maps that can be embedded in Survey123 can only display the points on a basemap and not the attributes affiliated with those points, mainly the name. Users would not therefore be able to be in the field and identify a site that they might be standing on or alternatively could not use Survey123 to navigate to sites that have already been surveyed. 


Please let me know if this is clear and if you need any clarification on these issues.