Is Survey123 the best replacement for ArcPad

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08-15-2022 08:24 PM
BenjamenWetherill
New Contributor III

I have been using ArcPad (with an Archer2 mobile GPS unit) to do annual surveys of ponds.  I divided the ponds up into 1/2 acre quadrants and filled out a survey form for each quadrant.  When the survey for a quadrant was complete, the quadrant changed color, and the survey data was populated in a geodatabase by quadrant.

Now, I understand that ArcPad is being phased out, so I am trying to figure out how to replace it.  Is Survey123 the replacement for ArcPad for this application?

If so, I have a couple questions about Survey123:

  1. How can I set up Survey123 so that it is visible real-time to the surveyor which quadrants have been completed?  I have tried creating a WebMap that has the feature layer from the survey and a feature layer of quadrants, but that is not ideal.  It is slow and requires an online connection, and it just shows a single survey point not a highlighted quadrant.
  2. How can I set up Survey123 so it doesn't have to reload the survey between each entry?  In other words, when I use ArcPad, everything is offline and I just click on my new location to quickly launch a new survey form.  With Survey123, when I click "Collect Data" it has to load a new survey form and downloads the map from ArcGIS Online.  It is slow.  I tried creating some offline map areas, but it doesn't seem to speed this process up.
  3. How do I make my WebMap show up faster in the map widget?  I noticed that if I use the Basic basemap it appears fast, but if I use my feature layer, which is just a few quadrant outlines, it is very slow loading.
  4. In the map widget, how do I change the default zoom level?
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magisian
Occasional Contributor II

ArcPad phased out a long time ago. It was officially retired at the start of this year.

The three current flagship data collection apps are:

  • ArcGIS Field Maps (map-centric data collection)
  • ArcGIS Survey123 (form-centric data collection)
  • ArcGIS QuickCapture (button-centric rapid data collection)

Few notes:

  • ArcGIS Field Maps not released for Windows 10.
  • If you are still on Windows Handheld/mobile, the OS has moved on and you'll want to look to upgrade.
  • Survey123 and Field Maps overlap (both have maps and both have some smart form functionality) but they will not replace each other
  • Survey123 and Field Maps can target the same feature service. They can also use custom URL schemes to work with each other.
  • There are additional mobile apps (Workforce, Navigator) that will be merged into Field Maps over time
  • There are supplementary web apps to support ArcGIS Field Maps and Survey123, and showcase data (e.g. dashboard)

You need to consider both Field Maps and Survey123. Which is best will depend on your needs. Map-centric data collection and online workflows suit Field Maps more. More complex forms and offline workflows suit Survey123. But they can both overlap in functionality. 

I would strongly recommend learning:

  • Survey123 Connect (it is more powerful than the web app designer)
  • ArcGIS Field Maps and the accompanying web app for configuration
    • Smart forms are new to Field Maps but getting better
  • Web Map Viewer configuration (for use with Field Maps and Web Apps to use)
    • Include pop-up configuration, scale levels
  • Hosted Feature Layer management, download and offline configuration, Hosted Feature Layer Views

Some resources to help you are:

  • Help documentation
  • Esri community (Survey123 has great blog posts for workflows and functionality)
  • Esri youtube videos
  • Esri Training Catalog

I understand this may not be the answer you are looking for. ArcPad was a desktop-oriented workflow and has been retiring for years. The new apps rely on ArcGIS Online (or Portal) workflows. You would benefit significantly from dropping ArcPad from your consideration and looking at introduction + common workflow courses on the above topics.

If you want to skip this, the Survey123 Connect 'Inbox' functionality lets you edit existing features (and capture related records). You could do this in Survey123 entirely, or combine it with ArcGIS Field Maps and a custom pop-up custom URL scheme to launch the related survey. Both these workflows would benefit from some initial introduction...

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magisian
Occasional Contributor II

ArcPad phased out a long time ago. It was officially retired at the start of this year.

The three current flagship data collection apps are:

  • ArcGIS Field Maps (map-centric data collection)
  • ArcGIS Survey123 (form-centric data collection)
  • ArcGIS QuickCapture (button-centric rapid data collection)

Few notes:

  • ArcGIS Field Maps not released for Windows 10.
  • If you are still on Windows Handheld/mobile, the OS has moved on and you'll want to look to upgrade.
  • Survey123 and Field Maps overlap (both have maps and both have some smart form functionality) but they will not replace each other
  • Survey123 and Field Maps can target the same feature service. They can also use custom URL schemes to work with each other.
  • There are additional mobile apps (Workforce, Navigator) that will be merged into Field Maps over time
  • There are supplementary web apps to support ArcGIS Field Maps and Survey123, and showcase data (e.g. dashboard)

You need to consider both Field Maps and Survey123. Which is best will depend on your needs. Map-centric data collection and online workflows suit Field Maps more. More complex forms and offline workflows suit Survey123. But they can both overlap in functionality. 

I would strongly recommend learning:

  • Survey123 Connect (it is more powerful than the web app designer)
  • ArcGIS Field Maps and the accompanying web app for configuration
    • Smart forms are new to Field Maps but getting better
  • Web Map Viewer configuration (for use with Field Maps and Web Apps to use)
    • Include pop-up configuration, scale levels
  • Hosted Feature Layer management, download and offline configuration, Hosted Feature Layer Views

Some resources to help you are:

  • Help documentation
  • Esri community (Survey123 has great blog posts for workflows and functionality)
  • Esri youtube videos
  • Esri Training Catalog

I understand this may not be the answer you are looking for. ArcPad was a desktop-oriented workflow and has been retiring for years. The new apps rely on ArcGIS Online (or Portal) workflows. You would benefit significantly from dropping ArcPad from your consideration and looking at introduction + common workflow courses on the above topics.

If you want to skip this, the Survey123 Connect 'Inbox' functionality lets you edit existing features (and capture related records). You could do this in Survey123 entirely, or combine it with ArcGIS Field Maps and a custom pop-up custom URL scheme to launch the related survey. Both these workflows would benefit from some initial introduction...