FAQ for submitters


Survey usage

Location sharing in the field app


Do I need to be an ArcGIS named user in order to use the Survey123 field app or web app?

Not for public surveys. Once a survey is made public, anyone can submit data to it. No ArcGIS account is required.

How accurate is the location captured by the Survey123 field app?

The Survey123 field app relies completely on the ability of your device to capture locations. This means accuracy will vary from device to device. Ensure that you choose the correct device for your data collection needs.

How can I improve the location captured by my device?

You can improve the accuracy of the location captured by your device by using a high-accuracy receiver.

There are a broad range of GNSS receivers that can connect to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth.

How do I change the location permissions of the Survey123 field app?

On iOS, when the app is launched for the first time after installing, you will be asked if you want to capture location Never, Ask Next Time, or While using the App. This can be changed later in your device's settings, by browsing to Settings > Privacy > Location Settings > Survey123.

On Android, when the app is launched for the first time after installing, you will be asked if you want to allow access to the device's location. This can be changed later in your device's settings, by browsing to Settings > Apps > Survey123 > Permissions (or similar depending on the Android device). On Android, when you run the app in the background, a notification that the app may be using your current location appears; however, your location will only be captured according to the behavior chosen in the location settings within the app. The default behavior is to only capture the location as needed by a survey, meaning that no location is captured when the app is in the background.

Can I work with a device that does not have a data plan?


Connect to Wi-Fi to download the Survey123 field app, as well as any surveys you need to take to the field. You can then begin capturing survey information without a data connection. All of your survey results will be stored locally on your device. When you return to the office and have a Wi-Fi connection, you will be able to submit your data. This workflow can also be used when running ArcGIS Enterprise behind a firewall.

Why can I no longer ignore SSL errors?

The option to ignore SSL errors has been disabled to address security concerns.

Do I need to allow mock locations to use an external GNSS receiver with Survey123?

When using an external GNSS receiver with Survey123 3.2 or earlier on Android devices, you need to enable a mock location provider on the device so that data from the external receiver is made available to any running apps in place of the internal device location.

In Survey123 3.3 or later, you can connect directly to many external GNSS receivers, no longer requiring mock location configuration on Android devices. When you connect directly to a receiver, you also get access to additional location metadata, such as accuracy and satellite information. For a list of external receivers that you can connect to directly, see Choose a receiver.


Some receivers cannot be connected to directly. For these receivers, you can still use a mock location provider to replace the internal device location. In this case, you will get the position from the external receiver but not the additional metadata, and you'll usually rely on an app from the GNSS receiver manufacturer running on the device to process the location first, before it is passed through to the internal location provider.

How do I minimize the keyboard on my iOS device?

To hide the keyboard on an iOS device, swipe down over the keyboard from above it.

Survey usage

How can I submit data to my surveys?

Once a survey is published, you can share it with one or more groups in your ArcGIS organization or make it public. At that moment, your survey will be available to users, who can submit data directly from the web or through the Survey123 field app. Surveys created on the web can be accessed in a browser from your desktop or mobile device, making it easy for people to capture data right away. Surveys created on the web or in Survey123 Connect can also be downloaded to your desktop or mobile device and used in the Survey123 field app.

Why does my survey display a message to delete repeated records when I answer another question?

If the repeat count for a repeat is reduced through a calculation or being tied to another question, the app will present a button to delete all repeated records with values in them above the new repeat count; empty repeat records will be automatically deleted. Submitting the survey response will not send records above the new repeat count.

Why can't I see the Sent folder or the Inbox for my survey?

The Sent folder and Inbox can be disabled by the survey's author.

Location sharing in the field app

How does location sharing work in the Survey123 field app?

If location sharing is enabled by your ArcGIS organization, tracks can be captured when the Survey123 field app is open. If location sharing is configured to be required at the organization level (by an organization administrator) or at the survey level (by the survey author), the field worker cannot turn it off. If it is not required, the field worker can start or stop location sharing when they choose.

Optionally, an administrator can configure an ArcGIS organization to capture tracks, last known locations, or both (default).

Survey123 relies on fused location providers that determine location through available on-device hardware, including (but not limited to) Wi-Fi, GPS, and cellular networks. These locations are stored locally on the device until they're uploaded to the location sharing layer. The minimum distance required between points is 10 meters.

Tracks are uploaded every 10 minutes.

Separately, the last known location of the mobile device is updated every 60 seconds (independent of the device charging and battery state).

Can an organization automatically start and stop location sharing on a mobile device?

No. The mobile worker is in complete control of when they are recorded and sharing their location with others.

Can mobile workers see the locations of other mobile workers in the Survey123 field app?

By default, no, unless the survey has been configured to use a web map that contains a track view.

While mobile workers can only see their tracks, other users who are not administrators—such as supervisors and field crew chiefs—need to view the tracks of others. A track view contains the last known locations and tracks of a set of mobile workers. Anyone with the privilege to view location tracks and access to a track view can view the tracks of the specified mobile workers. For more information, see View tracks.

Will using location sharing in the Survey123 field app drain my device's battery?

Yes, any running app uses the battery. However, the impact of location sharing in Survey123 is minimal.

Does location sharing in the Survey123 field app work offline?

Yes. Once a mobile worker has signed in to Survey123 and has started location sharing, tracks are collected whether or not the device has a data connection. All tracks are stored locally on the device until they are uploaded to the location sharing layer.

How does location sharing work when there is no GPS signal?

Although location sharing in Survey123 works when there is no data connection, meaning no internet access is required, it does rely on multiple hardware components to determine the mobile worker's location. The most important is the GPS receiver. Survey123 records all positions that it receives. Both horizontal and vertical accuracy of positions are recorded and can be used to filter the tracks later.

In some cases, Survey123 may not receive a GPS signal and may not have enough other auxiliary information to determine a location. In those scenarios, tracks won't be recorded. One example of when this may occur is when the device is underground (for example, the mobile worker is on the subway, in a basement, or in a tunnel). In many instances, GPS positions can be acquired when the device is in airplane mode.

Will Survey123 record locations indoors?

Survey123 relies on the Android and iOS location services for positions. It doesn't honor any indoor positioning APIs. If you're looking for indoor location sharing, see ArcGIS Indoors.

How are tracks removed from the device?

To remove all tracks from the device, sign out of the app. This removes the local geodatabase that stores the tracks and all tracks that it contains.

To control the size of the database on the device, tracks that have been uploaded are removed from the device if they are more than 72 hours old.

What happens when a mobile worker signs out of the app?

When a mobile worker signs out, any unsent tracks will be sent and deleted from the app. If the device is offline, a message will appear, warning the mobile worker that unsent tracks will be deleted.

Signing in again as the same user doesn't restore the removed information.

What location mode is recommended for Android devices?

Android devices support four location modes: high accuracy, battery saving, device/sensor only, and off. It's recommended that mobile workers on Android use high accuracy mode. This generally provides the best location accuracy by using a combination of GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and mobile networks. Since Survey123 efficiently requests locations and minimizes its impact on battery life, you can use high accuracy mode and get the most accurate locations.

How is the value for the location track's activity attribute determined?

Each track point has an associated activity, which is an integer value representing one of the following:














The activity is determined by Core Motion on iOS and ActivityRecognitionClient on Android, with Survey123 honoring the activities common between the two systems. Each of these APIs relies on sensors including accelerometers, gyroscopes, the pedometer, the magnetometer, and the barometer of your device. If you constantly see a value of Unknown, it's possible your device has limited sensors available.

Why do some locations show stationary activity with a nonzero speed?

The activity and speed values are determined by different sensors on the device. The activity value is determined from native APIs, and the speed value is determined from the location services APIs (the device’s GPS). In some cases, the change in the activity value may be delayed.

Some steps have been taken to mitigate this. For example, on the Android platform, the Survey123 field app monitors the change in acceleration to determine when to start and stop requesting locations from the GPS sensor. This results in some scenarios in which the last known activity is stationary, but a new location with a new speed value is recorded. The two data sources combine to create and upload a track point that has a stationary activity with a speed greater than zero.