Create your first survey

The mechanics of building a survey form are relatively straightforward. What is often more difficult is establishing the questions to be asked, the correct sequence of the questions, and the exact wording. Since you don't need to worry about the mechanics, you spend some time with your colleagues going over these other items. That's the point: create a draft of the form, use it, discuss it, and refine it until it's exactly what you want.

In this exercise, you'll take on the role of a damage assessor after a natural disaster. Workers in the field will need a means to catalog and report where damage has occurred, to which infrastructure, and to what extent. They will also need ways to report the potential cost of damages, as well as the type of support any buildings will urgently need until proper rescue and repair can begin. You'll create a survey to meet these needs, with certain questions only becoming visible when context requires it.

  1. Download and open Survey123 Connect on your computer.
  2. Click New survey. Create a form with the advanced template, name the form Damage Assessment, and click Create survey.

    Survey123 Connect displays a preview of the new survey, and the spreadsheet where you will edit your survey opens in Microsoft Excel (or the default spreadsheet editor on your computer). The survey worksheet includes two example questions to help you get started. You can delete these examples.

  3. For the first question, you want to know the date of data collection. Click in the first cell of the type column on the spreadsheet, and type date, or choose date from the drop-down menu.

    The name provided in the name field is how the data is referenced internally, while the label in the label field is how the question is displayed in the survey. For this question, provide a suitable name and label for the collection date.

  4. Use today's date as the default value for the date question. To do this, type today() in the default column.

    Define the default value.

    When you save the spreadsheet, the survey preview in Survey123 Connect refreshes, displaying the new question and defaulting to today's date.

    Date field with today's date as the default value

  5. Make your second question a select_one question. This will be a question about the severity level of the damages, so use the name severity for this question.
  6. To use a select_one question, you must refer to a list on the choices tab of the spreadsheet. Click the choices tab and enter the following values, using severityLevel as the list_name: Totally destroyed, Partially destroyed, and Minor damage.

    select_one choices in the spreadsheet

  7. On the survey tab, replace list_name in the type column for the select_one question with severityLevel, so that the cell reads: select_one severityLevel. Click Save.

    When you save the spreadsheet, the survey preview in Survey123 Connect refreshes and displays the question with three choices.

  8. Make your third question another select_one question, this time for the type of construction. As you did in the previous question, provide choices for answers of road, bridge, railroad, and building.
  9. Make the fourth question a select_multiple question for the types of assessment the site may need. For this question, provide four choices: Water, Food, Shelter, and Medical.

    While select_multiple allows the user to choose more than one option, it otherwise behaves the same as a select_one question.

  10. Make the fifth question a decimal question for the estimated cost of damages. Label the question Estimated cost (USD).

    The decimal question allows the user to enter only numbers and a single decimal point, making it ideal for working with currency.

  11. Make the sixth question an image question.

    The user can either capture a new photo or browse and select a photo that is already on their device.

  12. Add a text question for additional notes. Choose multiline in the appearance column on the spreadsheet to allow for multiple lines.
  13. Make the visibility of some of these questions conditional on whether the construction type is a building; other types of construction won't use these questions. To do this, add selected(${construction},'building') to the relevant column for all questions after the construction question.

    Display fields only when construction is equal to building.

    With this rule in place, these questions will only appear when the construction question has been answered with the building choice.

  14. Add a geopoint question for the final question.

    A geopoint question will capture the device's location by default. This value can then be modified manually by the user.

    By default, the Survey123 field app requires an internet connection to display a map, but it is possible to configure a survey to work offline. To learn more, see Prepare basemaps for offline use.

  15. On the settings tab, replace the default form title in the form_title column with a meaningful title, for example, Damage Assessment.

    This title is displayed at the top of your survey form.

  16. On the Details tab in Survey123 Connect, edit the survey's thumbnail, title, summary, and description.

    Changes made here will be reflected in the survey gallery and also in the survey's form item in your ArcGIS organization. For more information, see Style your survey.

  17. Click Publish.

    Your survey is now available in the Survey123 field app.

You can open the ArcGIS Survey123 field app on any device, and download your new survey.