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Tracking surveys

Learn how to know where, when, and who is capturing data with your survey.

Where is data captured?

Geopoint questions can be included in your survey. By default, the Survey123 field app tries to capture the location of your device. If your device provides a location, it will be used as the default location. Typically, a user can overwrite that location by selecting the correct location on the map. Sometimes you may not want the end user to be able to change the location and always use the location that the device provides. If this is the case, mark the question in your spreadsheet as read-only. The map control will still appear, but the user will not be able to move the location. Alternatively, you may want to hide the map control. To do this, create a survey with no geopoint questions. The Survey123 field app will still capture the location for you if it's provided by the device.

When is data captured?

When editor tracking of a feature service is enabled, ArcGIS will keep track of when the data is received. Although the field is hidden in the Survey123 website, you will be able to see that field if you load the survey data (the feature service) into ArcGIS Pro or Map Viewer in your browser. Be aware though, the Creator_Date field will not tell you when the data was captured. This field tells you when the data was saved into the ArcGIS feature service.

If you really want to know when the data was captured, you will need to add a new type of question to your survey spreadsheet. This question will not be visible to the end user. The XLSForm specification describes it as part of the metadata section of your survey and is called start.

You can add this question anywhere in your survey. Again, the question will not appear in your form, but the Survey123 field app will capture the time when the user started the survey and that information will be persisted when submitted. If you use the question type end, you'll also capture when the user finished the survey. Having both can be useful if you want to measure how much time it took to fill out the form.

When using the start and end type of questions, your feature service will immediately become time-aware. Load your survey data into Map Viewer in your browser, and a slider bar at the bottom of the viewer allows you to animate data over time.

Who is capturing data?

When editor tracking of a feature service is enabled, you'll always know who is submitting forms.

Editor tracking automatically stores the username used to log in to the Survey123 field app as a new attribute in survey entries. To view this information, view the Results Window in the Survey123 website and scroll to the far right of the table. The Creator field shows you who submitted a particular record.

If someone in your organization were to edit the data submitted after the fact, the Editor field would reflect the name of that person as well. You'll know who captured the data in the field and who, if anyone, edited the data once submitted. The Edit date field also appears automatically and references the time when the data was edited.

If you want to capture the email of the person who submitted the data, you can also add a question of type email to your form as described in XLS Form essentials.