Whats New in ArcGIS Survey123 (September 2021)

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09-17-2021 10:29 AM
IsmaelChivite
Esri Frequent Contributor
2 17 1,183

You may noticed that on September 16 we updated Survey123 in the Apple, Microsoft and Google Play stores. We also refreshed the Survey123 website and the doc. You did not notice? Well, now you know!

We are excited to present our September 2021 release. Watch this 2 minute video for a quick overview:

And here are some additional details:

  • New Address question type
  • Image support in the ArcGIS Survey123 field app inbox
  • Calculations in the Survey123 web designer
  • XLSForm improvements
  • Other enhancements

New Address question type

 

The user experience you choose for users to submit data, dictates the quality of the data you get.  In many scenarios, an address, not a map, is the simplest and most natural way to describe the exact location of something. With the new Address question type, you will help users enter an address into a Survey123 form easier and faster than ever before.

IsmaelChivite_0-1631898946239.gif

 

Predictive text helps end users more quickly enter an address and boosts the quality of data by standardizing user input

When it comes to collecting the location of something, the new Address question is a great alternative to the Map question type. It can simplify and accelerate data capture, while boosting the quality of your location data.

Read these two blog posts to learn more about the new Address question:

 

 

Image support in the Survey123 field app inbox

 

The inbox is a powerful feature. It lets you download and edit your data in the Survey123 field app. The inbox is commonly used to support routine asset inspection workflows and to manage field work assignments.

Up until this release, records in the inbox included geometry and attributes as well as related features, but not attachments. Starting with version 3.13, the Survey123 field app let’s you dynamically download images associated with records in your inbox.

The animation below shows a hydrant inspection workflow.  A hydrant record previously downloaded into the inbox is opened showing its location, attributes, and information about previous inspections. Note that the inspection log includes photos as well.

IsmaelChivite_0-1631899424388.gif

 

Survey123 records from the Survey123 field app inbox now support images

Support for images in the inbox has been a popular ArcGIS Suvey123 Idea for a while, so we are pleased to make a good start on this one!

 

Calculations and hidden questions in the Survey123 web designer

 

Authoring forms with the Survey123 web designer is as easy as dragging questions into your design and visually configuring their look, feel and behavior. All from your web browser! With the Survey123 web designer you can intuitively build powerful smart forms in minutes, distribute them and immediately use the collected data to support decision making.

In addition to the new Address question, this release introduces support for calculations in the web designer. Through a calculation, you can populate a question using previously entered data from your form. For example, you can take values from two numeric questions and automatically calculate their average in a third question.

A well-designed smart form uses calculations to enrich your data while minimizing user input. In the animation below, for example, a calculation is used to automatically extract the postal code from an address question.  The postal code value is stored in a separate field and hidden from the user to avoid distraction.

IsmaelChivite_1-1631899425354.gif

 

 

 

XLSForm improvements

 

XLSForm is the language of smart forms. Survey123 adheres to this powerful industry standard. Survey123 Connect is a desktop application that you can download to author and publish Survey123 forms using the XLSForm specification.  With every release, XLSForm support in Survey123 grows. Here is what’s new:

  • Dynamic lists: Use the search appearance to dynamically populate a choice list from a query to a feature layer or CSV file. To learn more, read this blog article covering dynamic lists  in Esri Community.
  • The new body::esri:visible column lets you use an expression to control the visibility of a question while preserving its current value.
  • Use the body::accept column to control which file extensions can be uploaded to a file question in your form.
  • Guidance hints, external CSV files and input masks are now supported by the Survey123 web app.
  • A new URL parameter lets you force the recalculation of a question when the form is opened in edit mode in the Survey123 web app.

To learn more about XLSForm, check our XLSForm essentials help.

 

Other enhancements

 

Finally, this update brings many other enhancements including:

 

  • Survey123 & Field Maps form comparison: Did you ever wonder what smart form capabilities Field Maps and Survey123 support? Check out the Form Comparison help topic for the whole rundown.
  • Streamlined annotation tools user experience: Did you know you can annotate photos, maps and diagrams right from within the Survey123 field app? Even if you already know, you should check the massive UX improvements added in this release.
  • Enhanced web accessibility in the Survey123 web app: This update adds support for screen readers among other things, but for the details check our recently updated web accessibility conformance report and this best web accessibility best practices blog for Survey123 authors.
  • Survey123 report service: The creation of reports with many maps and images is now faster. We are confident you will be able to tell the difference! We also added options to help you format numbers better and to specify custom symbology for Survey123 features in the map. Check our Survey123 report syntax help.
  • Do you love Python? Then you will love our new ArcGIS Survey123 Tools Github repo. It includes many scripts and tools to help you automate common Survey123 tasks: cloning surveys across organizations, downloading data, automating reports and much more. Best of all? All scripts are shared under the Apache 2.0 Open Source license and the repo is open for your contributions.

 

Fixes

 

Survey123 website, web app and report service:

 

  • BUG-000141535 When the language and region are set to Deutsch - German and Schweis in ArcGIS Online, the basemap is missing when adding a map point element in the ArcGIS Survey123 website.
  • BUG-000139232 Removing and adding a new rule in Survey123 Web Designer after saving and returning to the survey design results in rule corruption.
  • BUG-000136446 The editing mode of a read-only dateTime question is displaying incorrect date on the ArcGIS Survey123 Data tab.
  • BUG-000136255 Unable to change the post-submission screen text in the Survey123 web designer for surveys created in ArcGIS Survey123 Connect.
  • BUG-000135538 Setting a rule based on a choice which includes a greater than or less than symbol (> or <) corrupts a Survey123 survey in the Survey123 web designer.
  • ENH-000124334 300 Pixel image size restriction on media image of note type question on Survey123 web form.
  • BUG-000137634 When logged into the ArcGIS Survey123 web app with an ArcGIS Online account assigned the ‘Viewer’ role, few attachments do not display the related survey information.
  • ENH-000137084 Improve performance and loading time for Analysis tab in Survey123 Web App
  • BUG-000141844 The long text in the individual response does not wrap correctly
  • BUG-000135544 Label issue on 2 buttons of the ArcGIS Survey123 website.
  • BUG-000135151 Hidden questions from Connect are not shown in Analyze tab
  • ENH-000124712 Allow user to create hidden question types in the Survey123 web browser designer.
  • BUG-000136526 Reverse geocoding with a custom geocoder fails in the ArcGIS Survey123 web app.
  • BUG-000136503 There are issues submitting the required DateTime question in the ArcGIS Survey123 mobile browser.
  • BUG-000136079 In the Data tab in ArcGIS Survey123 web designer, renaming photos does not work and reverts to the previous name after submitting the changes.
  • BUG-000138673 jr:choice-name() function yields 'TypeError: Cannot read property 'previousElementSibling' of undefined' when used on cascaded selection question & mode=edit for the URL parameter
  • BUG-000125125 The pulldata() function fails for web form surveys if Portal for ArcGIS is configured with IWA
  • BUG-000126788 Cannot access itemsets.csv on Portal with IWA
  • BUG-000140054 The ArcGIS Survey123 web app fails to load a form with a large CSV file when open in a browser on a mobile device.
  • BUG-000137706 BUG-000137670 Language switcher not changing the result of pulldata("@property",'language') or jr:choice-name
  • BUG-000138683 Multiline appearance is not available in the ArcGIS Survey123 web form for an Image question with a Count-Selected constraint.
  • BUG-000138319 Relevant expressions using the selected (${questionName}, 'answer') syntax are not honored when "Select One" values have spaces in them
  • BUG-000140240 Support the new body::esri:visible column to hide a question
  • ENH-000131088 Allow Survey123 WebApp to toggle between repeatable collection of questions specified under 'Repeat'
  • ENH-000120355 Include the ability to utilize Input Masks into the Survey123 Web Application
  • ENH-000138218 Allow geo point symbology to be customized in ArcGIS Survey123 feature reports
  • BUG-000135518 The Event Data is not passed as a Dynamic Field through the Survey123 Connector
  • DE-000004525 BUG-000136604 When generating a report on the Survey123 website for a survey response with many maps the tasks fails with the message: "An error occurred when printing. "
  • ENH-000136451 Enhance Survey123 website feature report tool to allow more than 10 minutes for printing each object or add the capability to change the waiting time to avoid timeout errors in surveys with a large number of related records.
  • BUG-000140099 Survey123 feature report export jobs do not complete if there are too many records exported at once even if the same dataset/quantity of records could be exported all at once in previous versions of Survey123.
  • DE-000004656 DE-000004304 BUG-000129586 Generating the feature report fails when the records have a large number of photo-enabled related records.
  • DE-000004394 BUG-000138738 When printing a report, if the survey is complex and survey data is large enough, the error message "An error occurred when preparing. " will be raised

 

Survey123 Connect

 

  • BUG-000113652 Republish hangs when you have added questions only to a repeat or nested repeat
  • BUG-000116136 Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS sends an empty payload for the /addtodefinition and /updatedefinition calls if the server responds with a 301 or 302 during the publishing process, which results in empty hosted feature layers.
  • BUG-000135737 ArcGIS Survey123 Connect and the ArcGIS Survey123 field app crash when creating a survey or opening an existing survey with reverse geocode on some Windows devices
  • BUG-000137194 - A white screen displays in ArcGIS Survey123 Connect with VMware SVGA 3D 8.17.2.2

 

Survey123 Field App

 

  • ENH-000110614 - Support adding image attachments during the editing process
  • Repeat groups now honor the w parameter when arranged in a grid-theme. If you use a repeat in a theme-grid, ensure you specify a 2 parameter.
  • ENH-000112172 View/Add image attachments to existing features while online
  • ENH-000121761 In Survey123 for ArcGIS, allow the option to preserve the Exif (exchangeable image file format) metadata containing location information for the annotated images.
  • BUG-000138199: Provide a mechanism for strings that can be parsed as numbers to remain strings
  • BUG-000136248 'Send' (outbox) and 'Empty' (sent folder) buttons on certain devices don't always work
  • BUG-000138281: The ArcGIS Survey123 field app locks users out of Active Directory when accessing a survey with a linked web map over a Portal for ArcGIS connection using Integrated Windows Authentication (IWA)
  • BUG-000138406 - Using the OpenStreetMap Daylight Esri Street Style (Beta) layer in a linked map causes ArcGIS Survey123 to crash on Motorola Moto G6 and E6 devices
  • BUG-000130821 ENH-000126229 Table-list appearance not working when style is set to pages and using field-list
  • BUG-000138381 Survey123 failing to submit when moved to background
  • BUG-000137976 Issue when uploading images to Image question on iOS 14
  • BUG-000127404 When selecting the drop-down list for an auto-complete question on Android, the keyboard momentarily appears
  • ENH-000128920 Survey123 login sequence- requests with improper user-agent

More resources and next steps

 

To learn more about what’s new in this and previous releases, check out the What’s new help archive.   You can also find more Survey123 content in the ArcGIS blog.

We are already working on our next update. Join the Survey123 Early Adopter Community to get access to the latest version of the software, read documentation on upcoming features an participate in the early adopter user forums.

17 Comments
StuartMoore
Occasional Contributor II

has anyone had any issues with exporting data from the Survey123 website since the update, i've had a few of our guys say they've not been able to since friday 16th... just getting a support case raised with ESRIUK...

 

Stu

Brian_Laws
Occasional Contributor

@StuartMoore I couldn't export some data from the Survey123 website a couple of days ago.  I saw a post from 2019 that suggested to try and download the data directly from the ArcGIS online feature service where the survey data is hosted and that worked for me.

DerrickWestoby
Occasional Contributor

@IsmaelChivite - Would you mind sharing what this parameter is?  I couldn't find it in the XLS reference

  • A new URL parameter lets you force the recalculation of a question when the form is opened in edit mode in the Survey123 web app.

edit: Ahhh, found it : recalculate=field:question1,field:question2
Integrate with other apps—ArcGIS Survey123 | Documentation

erica_tefft
Occasional Contributor III

Hi @IsmaelChivite  

We're find that there are some new buggy behaviors and slowness with this new version. Specifically on sending surveys from the Inbox. The "send" operation seems to get hung up towards the end of 15-20 seconds with a semi-transparent screen over the top of the survey. Occasionally the survey fails to send and gets stuck in the Outbox. It requires repeated attempts to send successfully. 

I did a small and probably not thorough enough test before updating the software/survey. My biggest concern was ensuring that the calculations throughout the survey worked properly (which they do). I didn't anticipate issues with sending.

This survey has nested repeats, lots of hidden calculations and is edited from the Inbox throughout the day. 

Any recommendations would be apprecaited.

Erica 

DerrickWestoby
Occasional Contributor

We're having the exact same problem as @erica_tefft since the last update.  Surveys with a lot of photos in the repeat are sending all of the phones, then giving  a send error right after. 

Philip-Wilson
Esri Frequent Contributor

Hi @erica_tefft and @DerrickWestoby,

We are aware of some of the issues around large surveys and memory/performance with 3.13, and are looking into this. If you can raise an issue with Esri Support that would also be helpful, and provide the XLSForm and any additional details.

Regards,

Phil.

erica_tefft
Occasional Contributor III

@Philip-Wilson -

I just opened an Esri support case and sent in the XLSForm for the survey experiencing the most issues. I sent you a direct message with the Esri Case # in case this is useful. 

Erica 

StuartMoore
Occasional Contributor II

hi @Philip-Wilson, i've also raise a case with ESRI UK, i'll upload our survey xlsx files for reference too

 

Stu

erica_tefft
Occasional Contributor III

@Philip-Wilson -

With this new version, was there also some sort of automatic, behind the scenes change to photo attachment sizes? We have a survey which has not been republished at version 3.13 (it was last published with version 3.12 on August 16, 2021), however users are reporting a change in photo attachment sizing. We compared photo dimensions from before we updated to 3.13 and from after we updated.

Pre 3.13 photo dimensions were 1920 x 1440. Post 3.13 upgrade and photo dimensions are 1920 x 1080. 

This is resulting in some squashed looking photos in our report template and when we export the full/original photo from the Survey123 website. 

The only change is that our MDM has updated all devices to Survey123 v. 3.13. 

Is there a way we can get back to the dimensions of 1920 x 1440?

Any assistance would be appreciated. 

Erica 

Philip-Wilson
Esri Frequent Contributor

Hi @erica_tefft,

With the 3.13 release significant improvements were made to the in-built camera and also how image sizes are managed according to the survey image setting or using max-pixels on per image question basis. This also included fixes for maintaining EXIF information when images are selected from gallery and used with annotation, as well as fixes to the flash, zoom and orientation on front and back cameras.

In previous versions, there were several issues reported by users regarding the in-built camera, mostly that when setting the survey image size or max-pixels, the saved image was a different size, and that the camera always displayed at 4:3 ratio image, even though the device screen and camera supports a 16:9 ratio which fills the screen better. This resulted in black bars being displayed above/below viewfinder (in portrait) or to the left/right of image in viewfinder (in landscape). Users have been requesting that the image viewfinder fill this available space by using a 16:9 image versus a more square 4:3 image, one of our most requested issues with the in-built camera.

The 3.13 improvements now select the most suitable aspect ratio based on the device screen size, so it will try to adjust the viewfinder to find the best resolution that the camera supports and that matches the resolution set by the survey or max-pixels. On most devices, if you have set 1920 as the survey image size, when you go to take the photo, there will generally be at least two options available,  1920x1080 (16:9) and 1920x1440 (4:3). Depending on the device you are using and screen size, either of one will be used that best fills the devices viewfinder. In fact, the camera often reports other sizes that are different aspect ratios altogether, there can be up to 5 diffferent 1920 sizes on an iOS and Android device, depending on the model and camera hardware.

Based on the devices you are using, it appears that 16:9 fits the screen better. Are you able to modify your report template to display the entire image in a suitable size that fits the area you are trying to display it in without squashing it? Canyou send a screenshot, or provide your report template and the images capture, so we can take a further look?

As for exporting the images from Survey123 website, how are you doing this? Are you saying that after you export the images and open them in other software on a desktop (image preview or photoshop etc) they look squashed also? Can you provide a screenshot or example of this?

Hope this helps.

Regards,

Phil.

erica_tefft
Occasional Contributor III

@Philip-Wilson 

Thank you for that really detailed information. The user who reported this is using a new iPad Mini. The workflow is for our Conservation Easement monitoring and she had me size the photos for the report template so that all of our monitors didn't have to manually re-size full-sized photos once exported to Word. This is the syntax I am using within the report template right now:

${ Related_Table_Photo_Information.Image | size:450:0}

With that sizing, it came in so that we could fit two images and tables per page of our report, which is our organization's standard for these reports. 

Here is what the photo section of the report looked like pre-3.13:

erica_tefft_0-1633008046321.png

Here is what it looks like post-3.13 (iPad Mini):

erica_tefft_1-1633008138396.png

When I go to the Survey123 website and visit the 'data' page for this survey, I save the image by finding it in "form view", I click to view and then I click the download option in the upper right corner of the image. When I bring this into a report manually, I still can't replicate the size because the aspect ratio is different.

Personally I don't think this is a huge deal. It doesn't seem like there is much we can do about this if this was a fundamental change to how Survey123 deals with the camera/photos. It seems like I might want to play with the sizing I specify in the report template to see if I can get the photos to not look squashed. I will pass on the great information you shared above to my user. 

Thank you,

Erica

Philip-Wilson
Esri Frequent Contributor

Hi @erica_tefft @DerrickWestoby @StuartMoore ,

Just letting you know that the Early Adopter Community (EAC) has just been updated with new 3.13 October Update RC builds. These builds include a fix for large surveys with slow loading times, when trying to open the drafts or inbox folder, and when submitting surveys. If you have time, please take a look and test out your surveys with these new builds, and let us know any feedback in the EAC forums. We hope to get this update released and available in the app stores as soon as possible.

Regards,

Phil.

StuartMoore
Occasional Contributor II

Hi @Philip-Wilson I've tried replicating the issue we have in the Survey123 Beta website and the issue is still there, from what i understand from talking to our ESRI UK support the issue is around using dates in the filter that's stopping the ability to export to a spreadsheet. one thing i did observe is that if rather than using a specific date you use within the last 90 days it will work. 

thanks

Stu

 

erica_tefft
Occasional Contributor III

@Philip-Wilson 

I just went into Testflight and I am still seeing build version 3.13.229. On the EAC, I see version 3.13.234, but I do not see this in Testflight. I haven't done a beta test in awhile, but think I am doing things correctly...? 

I just read the fine print and see it can take 24-48 hours for the new build to be approved by Apple and appear in Testflight. Sorry! I can't figure out how to delete this... 

 

 

DerrickWestoby
Occasional Contributor

Really enjoying 3.13 release so far.  The recalculate URL parameter and external CSV were great for quickly updating a bunch of features.  Now that it's done, I'm wondering if there's a way to implement it that would basically be equivalent to Recalculate if empty, else use entered values

Project info is enriched with an external CSV. The CSV is normally limited to active projects, but the one I just used was 5 years worth of projects to fill all of the info on from old UAS flights.  Now I'm trying to figure out how to auto-fill these values on new projects with empty fields (without having to click recalculate on 15 fields), but hold the existing values otherwise (because the next CSV update will be back to active-only projects and would end up removing all those attributes for inactive projects that are edited).   

Is there a simple way to address this that I'm overlooking or should I try for a couple workaround ideas? 

Philip-Wilson
Esri Frequent Contributor

Hi @StuartMoore,

The update to EAC yesterday was just for Connect and the field app, there was no update to the beta website. We are planning an update to the beta website later this month. Do you have a case numebr of BUG number for the issue you logged with Esri Support so we can look into the issue you are having further?

Regards,

Phil.

StuartMoore
Occasional Contributor II

Hi @Philip-Wilson ,

i believe this is the bug: BUG-000143091 When attempting to export survey data by CSV or Excel in Survey123, the export process hangs and never completes if a filter is applied to any date field

Thanks

Stu