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Mapping with Survey123 within a polygon or admin unit

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09-14-2018 05:31 AM
New Contributor III

Is there a way to use ArcGIS online web map in Survey123? I need to search an administrative unit by its name from search window either on Survey123 app or on Survey123 web form, then once the admin unit flashes and zooms to its extent, i need to tap on the map within the boundary and identify a point location to fill up with its attributes data and then submit. The approach of using tiles does not seem fit in this case.

Thank you.

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by Anonymous User
Not applicable

Hi @Indra_SharanKC @DougBrowning @NaomiBegg2 @AnthonyJonesRSK,

Just wanted to let you know with the upcoming 3.16 October Release of Survey123 we have extended the pulldata() function to now include spatial searches. You can find the latest announcements, documentation and test out the latest 3.16 beta builds via the Early Adopter Community to get early access to these builds.



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29 Replies
Esri Regular Contributor

Hi Indra

There are a few enhancement requests in your requirement:

- Support for web maps - this is not supported yet, but we are looking to add support in a future release

- Searching reference layers - again not supported yet, but under consideration

- Spatial inheritance - again not supported yet, but under consideration

I'll add your requirements to the internal issues in our repo.

One option is to look into the new beta Javascript functionality. You could incorporate code that would do the search against a polygon layer (based on your location) and pull through the values to populate the survey. Take a look at the EAC documentation here: Welcome to our Feedback Community 



New Contributor III

Hi John,

Great to hear that these requirements are going to be met. The first important thing would be being able to use web map. Which version of Survey123 will have this addressed, any idea?  

Thank you for your considering this to the internal issue, and pointing at other resources.

Kind regards


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Esri Regular Contributor

Hi Indra

This issue is our backlog. Could you share your requirements - i.e. why do you need web map support?

I'll add your feedback to our repo.



New Contributor III

Hi John,

I can give you a number of reasons justifying the need for a web map in Survey123. I will include two cases here:

1. Election observation and monitoring: During a national or local election, a number of international and national election observers are deployed by the National Election Commission. These observers go to far and remote places, most of the times by walking very long distance. They observe election and record their observation following an international / national protocol, and then visit the next polling station. Paper based data recording and processing takes long time. We replaced the paper based data collection, submission and  summary generation with Survey123.

We have web map of all the polling stations, with every details of the polling station and local surroundings. But, we could not use this and esri's global base map only serves as a surface on earth. The election observers could not really correctly relate their reporting with the polling station they were visiting. We made paper maps, but there is no point when the web map itself can not be used.

2. Distribution of educational materials to schools: When city based organizations are assigned the job of distributing education materials to the schools in remote rural areas,  we need to monitor whether the material was delivered to proper school. This can be done if we are able to use web map of the schools and ability to search and find specific school on the Survey itself.

Hope this helps. If you need more examples, i can provide you.

Thank you

MVP Esteemed Contributor

Use the web map in collector then launch survey123 passing a key and any other attributes over.  Whenever you want a map or spatial use collector - that is what it is good at.

New Contributor III

Hi Doug,  thank you for pointing at another method. Our field staff are not very tech savvy, and like Survey123 with nice looking questions. But will try your approach. Do you suggest links to such resource? Thank you

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MVP Esteemed Contributor

You can still use Survey123 for the questions just use collector for the spatial side.  But if it is just a few you can do it in collector.

I had 175 tablet users with an avg age of 60 with many never seeing a smartphone before.  They picked it up quick if you just showed them.  Worth a test since it does not take long to build.

Full esri post on it is here

My workflow is this

Create the form and publish.

Download the form feature service as a gdb.

Create a new GDB in catalog - this holds your collector features.

Add the FS that collector is going to use (point, line, whatever).

     Add a key field to the collector class then pass this value to Survey123 (like you have been doing).

Copy the Survey123 FC you downloaded into the collector gdb.

Create a Relationship class from the Collector FC to the Survey123 FC.

Publish this gdb as a service.

Go into the Survey123 form and set the submission_url to the new HFS you just published.

Republish the form.


Now you can add the collector service to a map and all the relationship classes come along.  Now you have your collector features connected to your forms.  Forms to lines or polygons or whatever does not matter.


I have this working with 9 forms/9 relationships classes and works great.  I can list all the forms for a feature or open a form and backtrack to the feature.  Plus if you export the HFS to a GDB all the relationships classes come with it.  They also works in ArcMap when connecting to the HFS directly.  Oh and you can even see the linked forms in Collector - even other peoples forms!


Also what I did was add a field called XForm and put the item id in that field.  Then in the collector map I can use that field to construct the URL.  It then launches and prefills in the "Key" field you decided to use.  This way you can actually mix and match forms if you want.  Say 2017 features link to the 2017 form but the 2018 features link to the 2018 form.


Hope that makes sense and helps you. 

New Contributor III

Thank you Doug. I appreciate sharing your approach and the link.  I will try this.  

Eventually, if ESRI upgrades Survey123  for using an existing web map with it, it would be boon to a large population.   

Occasional Contributor II

Hi Doug,

I had attempted to do something similar in the spring of 2017, but at the time that effort was met with a bug in Survey123 software that didn't allow using forms as related records. Like you I love the idea of merging map centric (collector) with form centric (Survey123). Now that it seems this workflow is possible I am excited to revisit this once again. Unfortunately, the workflow I was going by still doesn't seem to be working out. In researching that I came upon your workflow, which you seem to have had success with, but I was hoping for some clarification on a few of the steps.


1. Create the form and publish. 

2. Download the form feature service as a gdb.

3. Create a new GDB in catalog - this holds your collector features.

4. Add the FS that collector is going to use (point, line, whatever).

      Add a key field to the collector class then pass this value to Survey123 (like you have been doing).

5. Copy the Survey123 FC you downloaded into the collector gdb.

6. Create a Relationship class from the Collector FC to the Survey123 FC.

7. Publish this gdb as a service. Do you mean that the Geodatabase need to be published as a Geodata Service?

8. Go into the Survey123 form and set the submission_url to the new HFS you just published. By HFS do you mean set the submission_url to service url of the Geodata Service?

9. Republish the form.

In case you are wondering below are steps for the previous workflow I was using that still hasn't quite worked:

Steps in ArcMap/Catalog:

  1. In a file geodatabase or an enterprise geodatabase, create a new point feature class. Add global ID’s to this feature class
  2. Create a new table in the geodatabase. Add a GUID field.
  3. Create a relationship class between the feature class and the table:
    1. Origin table/feature class is the point feature class; Destination is the table
    2. Can use a simple relationship or composite relationship
    3. Where the labels are specified in the relationship class, it’s important for Survey123 that these have the same name
    4. It’s ok to set the messages to “None”
    5. 1:M cardinality
    6. “No, I do not want to add attributes to this relationship class”
    7. The primary key for the origin is the GlobalID, the foreign key for the table is the GUID field
  4. Add FC and Table to ArcMap and publish as a HFS

Steps in Survey123:

  1. Launch Survey123 Connect:
  2. Click New Survey > Click the radio button "Feature Service" > Click the feature service published from the data created in the first part of this document > Create Survey
  3. In Survey123 Connect click the "Settings" button > Inbox > Enable "Inbox mode" > Disable the setting to "Apply a spatial filter when the map view of surveys is visible"
  4. Publish this survey to ArcGIS Online

Steps in AGOL:

  1. Create a web map and add the published HFS to the web map 
  2. Configure the popup to use URL Scheming to open Survey123, pass the Global ID field to the GUID field, pass any other parameters as necessary
  3. Save web map
  4. Open in Collector and Done!

Any help would be appreciated. I really want this to work!!!

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