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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 have 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 what infrastructure, and to what extent. They will also need ways to report the potential cost of damages, as well as what sort 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 titled My Survey, and the spreadsheet where you will edit your survey opens in Microsoft Excel (or the default spreadsheet editor on your computer). You see an example question included in the spreadsheet. You can safely delete this or use it as a template for your first question.

  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 what the data is referred to as internally, while the label in the label field is what the question is displayed as in the survey. For this question, enter a suitable name and label for the collection date.

  4. The date question should default to today's date. 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 defaulting to today's date

  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 the [list_name] in the select_one question with severityLevel (the cell will now read select_one severityLevel), and click Save.

    When you save the spreadsheet, the survey preview in Survey123 Connect refreshes and displays the question with three available 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. The fourth question will be a select_multiple question for what types of assessment the site may need. While select_multiple allows the user to choose more than one option, it otherwise behaves the same as a select_one question. For this question, provide four choices: Water, Food, Shelter, and Medical.
  10. Make the fifth question a decimal question for the estimated cost of damages. Label the question as Estimated cost (USD). The decimal question will allow the user to enter only numbers and a single decimal point, making it ideal for working with currency.
  11. The sixth question will be 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. You'll allow for multiple lines, so choose multiline in the appearance column on the spreadsheet.
  13. You'll 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 ${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 display when the construction question has been answered with building.

  14. Add a geopoint for the final question. A geopoint question will use 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. You will also customize the appearance of your survey to distinguish it from others at a glance. The Settings > General tab contains a number of options that can uniquely identify your survey. Change the thumbnail, title, and description of your survey:
    • Thumbnail—The image that will be associated with your survey, uniformly situated above the survey's title. Ideally, it should be a square image that scales well to various sizes.
    • Title—By default, inherits the file name you gave the form; it is the name that users will see associated with your survey instead of the file name.
    • Description—Appears with your survey in both the Survey123 field app and on the survey's form item in ArcGIS Online.
  16. Finally, click Publish.

    Your survey is now available in the Survey123 field app.

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