Forms in Field Maps or use Survey123?

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02-23-2024 06:05 AM
JustinJohnston
Occasional Contributor II

I have been asked to setup our GIS field setup to collect data for archaeology purposes.  The people in the field want to be able to skip paper forms in the field and instead complete the information from our GIS/GPS setup.  I am not sure what the best solution is and was hoping for feedback from others. 

Do you think creating forms in ESRI Field Maps would work best?  Or would using Survey123 work best?  Any archaeology people out there with insights since I have not really seen what data they collect?  I think they have forms that show a soil profile, which is not straight text, so not sure how to best enter that type of data?

Cheers,

Justin

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DanGruber
New Contributor III

I work extensively with FM Form Designer and find it easy to use and reasonably powerful. We use it for most of our field data collection. I haven't worked with S123 for a few years, but my recollection is that it was more powerful than FM for form design. If you have a really complex form, I'd explore S123. Also, S123 now has an associated form designer, although last time I used it, it did not provide the full capabilities of the app. Perhaps it's been updated/expanded since.

Good luck.

Dan

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DanGruber
New Contributor III

I work extensively with FM Form Designer and find it easy to use and reasonably powerful. We use it for most of our field data collection. I haven't worked with S123 for a few years, but my recollection is that it was more powerful than FM for form design. If you have a really complex form, I'd explore S123. Also, S123 now has an associated form designer, although last time I used it, it did not provide the full capabilities of the app. Perhaps it's been updated/expanded since.

Good luck.

Dan

JustinJohnston
Occasional Contributor II

Thanks.  Good to know Field Maps might do the trick.  That is what I am most used to myself, but I have not done a lot of form design.  I just load the web map and edit data as I go.  I'll have to learn how to do it.

Cheers,

Justin

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HannesVogel
New Contributor III
I'd go for Survey123 with so called repeats for the soil layers, it is also possible within Field Maps with related records but I think in that case Survey123 work better since you have there also the options to select multiple from lists and add remarks on images they take. And the survey is by default offline.
ChristineTombleson1
Occasional Contributor

I built a Field Maps app that incorporates both field map smart forms and Survey123 surveys.  We had some data collection that required multiple selection answers that can't at this time be done in field maps.  I also like that I could create buttons in my Field Map popup to access the Survey123 form.  It depends what type of data you need to collect. One frustration in the Field Maps smart form is the text is small, light gray, on a white background which made forms difficult to read.  I could bold headings in groups on the survey123 form and make the form more readable.

erKay_nv5
New Contributor III

@ChristineTombleson1 Would you be willing to share your process? I'm trying to do the same, and I'm hitting a wall on integrating the two apps. 

To the OP, FieldMaps designer is intuitive and easy to use, but as was suggested, if your form information is complicated, you may want to integrate Survey123 for the form usage. The tables that come out of FieldMaps can get huge if you are trying to collect archaeological data, which leads to large data tables to deal with on the back end.

ChristineTombleson1
Occasional Contributor

Hi - The process to integrate Survey123 forms into Field Maps involves using a URL to connect the two.   https://doc.arcgis.com/en/survey123/get-started/integratewithotherapps.htm.  Use the URL pattern to create your URL. There are many variations based on your situation, are you using windows or apps, if you are using related tables, are you allowing editing on the same form, etc. But for basics...for the URL I used "arcgis-survey123://?itemID=the ID number of your published Survey123 survey&;field:GlobalID={GlobalID}&callback=https%3A%2F%2Ffieldmaps.argic.app"  This URL goes in the popup of your feature in field maps.  

JustinJohnston
Occasional Contributor II

I am completely clueless about integration between the two apps.  It may be necessary, but I feel overwhelmed and under prepared just considering the idea.  Are there some good education resources, how to videos, or anything like that you can give me as a starting point?

 

Cheers,

Justin

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erKay_nv5
New Contributor III

"This URL goes in the popup of your feature in field maps." This is just one place I'm getting stuck. I don't know where the popup field is. 

It probably doesn't help that I'm working with an already built set of features, and I really can't alter very much due to both my license level within the organization, and the fact that this has been in use for a while now, and changing too much would cause issues with older data that needs to be updated.

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