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Create a survey

In this lesson, you'll use Survey123 for ArcGIS to create a survey that will help the homeowner association (HOA) assess their community members' disaster preparedness for earthquakes and home fires. Survey123 for ArcGIS is an intuitive form-centric data gathering solution for creating and analyzing surveys.

After authoring the survey, you'll publish it to ArcGIS Online so participants can complete the survey within the Survey123 web app or using the Survey123 field app.

Start designing the survey

First, you'll sign in to the Survey123 website.

  1. In a web browser, go to the Survey123 website.

    The Survey123 website is where you create and manage surveys, view the data collected for each survey, and analyze and print the results. You can also export the collected survey data to use it in other ArcGIS client applications.

  2. Click Sign in and sign in with your ArcGIS organizational account. (Your account must have publishing privileges.)
    Note:

    If you don't have an organizational account, you can sign up for an ArcGIS free trial.

    Once you sign in, the Survey123 website displays the survey gallery page with your surveys. Currently, the gallery page is empty because you don't have any surveys.

  3. Click Create a New Survey

    Create a New Survey button

    The Create a New Survey window opens.

  4. In the Using the web designer section, click Get Started.

    The objective of the HOA Emergency Preparedness survey is to help the HOA assess how well their association members are prepared in the event that a disaster occurs, such as an earthquake or fire. A secondary goal is to create an inventory of useful items that association members have for emergency response—this may be useful information for the HOA to have in the event of an emergency.

  5. In the Create a New Survey window, type the following details:
    • Name: HOA Emergency Preparedness Survey
    • Tags: HOA, emergency preparedness
    • Summary: This survey is being conducted by the HOA to help assess the community’s emergency preparedness in the event of a disaster, such as an earthquake.

    You can optionally add a custom thumbnail by clicking the thumbnail icon and adding your own image. (The recommended size for thumbnail images is 200x133 pixels.)

  6. Click Create.

    It may take a moment for the survey to be created. During this process, a new form item and associated feature layer are being created in ArcGIS Online. When the survey is ready, a survey design page appears; it does not contain any survey questions yet.

    Survey design page

    Before you start designing your survey, you should become familiar with the Survey123 website interface.

    The My Surveys and Help links appear at the top of the page. The My Surveys link opens the survey gallery, which provides you access to all your surveys. Clicking Help opens the Survey123 for ArcGIS help documentation. In the green bar below those links, the name of the active survey appears with tabs for working with the survey: Overview, Design, Collaborate, Analyze, and Data.

    Currently, the Design tab is active. Its main display area is divided into two sections. The survey layout preview appears on the left of the design page. The four tabs on the right include the available options for creating and configuring your survey:

    • Add—Select the type of question you want to add to the survey.
    • Edit—Edit the content and properties of a survey question.
    • Theme—Define the appearance of your survey.
    • Settings—Configure a thank you message that appears after the survey is submitted.

    The design interface provides a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) user experience. As you make configuration changes in the tabs on the right, the changes are reflected in the survey layout preview on the left.

    In the process of designing the survey, you'll learn about the different survey question types that you can create in the Survey123 website, and how to configure related questions. As you'll see, Survey123 for ArcGIS uses smart forms—as survey questions are answered, subsequent questions will only appear based on the responses to questions. This helps get more concise answers in the survey and saves the respondent time when completing the survey.

    Your survey will consist of three sections: general participant information, the 9 Fix-it prevention safety checks, and emergency asset inventory. First, you'll add a question to get the date that the survey is completed.

  7. On the Add tab, in the Common Questions set, click Date.

    Common Questions set with box around Date question

    The new date question type is added to the survey. Date questions are used to collect date input for surveys.

  8. In the survey layout preview, click the question to select it for editing.

    Survey layout with selected question

  9. On the Edit tab, for Label, type Survey Completion Date:

    As you type the label, it appears on the survey layout. You can configure multiple parameters for each survey question, depending on the type of question. In this case, you can control the default dates and validation rules. You can assign a default value of the date when the survey is submitted or a specific date. You can also specify a limited date range. You'll set a default date and require that the question be answered before the survey can be submitted.

  10. For Default Value, select Submitting date. For Validation, check the This is a required question box.

    Edit tab completed for Date question

    A red asterisk appears next to the question in the survey layout to indicate that the question is required.

  11. Click Save.

    Next, you'll add a Singleline Text question, which collects a free text response in a single line. This question type is a good choice when you expect short answers of only a few words. In this case, you want the participant to provide their name.

  12. On the Add tab, click Singleline Text to add the question to the survey.
    Tip:

    You can drag a question from the Add tab to the survey layout and position the question where you want it to appear in the survey. You can also re-order questions by moving their position in the layout.

  13. In the survey layout, click the new question to edit it.
  14. On the Edit tab, for Label, type Participant Name: and for Validation, check the This is a required question box.

    You can also assign a default value for the answer to the question or set minimum and maximum character counts for the answer.

  15. Click Save.

    Singleline Text question in survey layout

  16. Add another Singleline Text question. For its label, type Participant Location: and make it a required question.

    Ideally, you would prefer to obtain the participant's specific street address. However, for security or personal reasons, some participants completing the survey may not want to share their address. To accommodate this, you'll add a hint to indicate that providing a street name or nearest cross street is an acceptable response.

  17. For Hint, type e.g., address, street name, or nearest cross streets.

    Edit tab completed for Singleline Text question

    Next, you'll add a GeoPoint question to collect a spatial location in the survey.

  18. On the Add tab, click GeoPoint to add the question to the end of the survey.
  19. Edit the question:
    • Label: Locate your residence on the map:
    • Hint: Note: If you would prefer to not locate your home, please use the nearest intersection/cross streets.
    • Make it a required question.

    You can provide an interactive map in the survey for the end user to indicate their location.

  20. For Default Map, choose one of the listed ArcGIS Online basemaps.
  21. Click Save.

    GeoPoint question in survey layout

    Your survey now contains four questions.

Add questions about the participant's residence

In the next part of the survey, you'll collect some information about the participant's residence.

  1. Add a Single Choice question to the end of the survey.

    This is a multiple choice question type for which participants can only select one answer. You'll define the answer choices.

  2. For the question's Label, type What type of residence do you live in?
  3. In the Choices section, for Choice 1, type Single family (house).
  4. For Choice 2, type Multi-family (apartment, condo).
  5. For Choice 3, click the minus sign to remove it from the list.
    Tip:

    You can add or remove answer choices by clicking the plus sign and minus sign buttons, respectively.

  6. Check the Add Other Choice box.

    Edit tab completed for Single Choice question

    You can also specify how the choices appear in the survey. You'll accept the default layout.

  7. Click Save.

    Single Choice question in survey layout

    Next, you'll add a Number question, which collects numerical data in the survey.

  8. Add a Number question to the end of the survey:
    • Label: How many levels does your home have?
    • Hint: include the basement as a separate level (if applicable)
  9. Click Save.

    Number question in survey layout

    One of the advantages of Survey123 is its smart form capability. You can design the survey to only show certain questions based on the participant's response to earlier questions. Next, you'll set a dependency for question 6 to only appear when a specific answer is given for question 5. You'll define a rule on question 5 to display question 6 based on one of question 5's choice options.

  10. In the survey layout, click question 5 to make it active.
  11. In the dashed box, click the Set Rule button.

    Set Rule button

    The Set Rule window opens. First, you specify which answer choice should cause a subsequent question to appear. Then, you choose which question to display when that answer is chosen.

  12. Set the following rule: If the answer is Single family (house), show the question How many levels does your home have?

    Rule in Set Rule window

  13. Click OK.

    After the rule has been set, new icons appear in the survey layout for question 5 and question 6 to show their association.

    Related question icons

  14. Add a Number question to the end of the survey:
    • For Label, type Approximately what year was your residence built?
    • In the Validation section, check the Must be an integer box.
  15. Click Save.

    Next, you'll add an Image question to the survey. With this question type, participants can submit images with the survey. If the survey is being completed on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet, the participant can use the device's camera or browse for an image saved to the device's image library.

  16. Add an Image question to the end of the survey:
    • Label: Picture of your residence
    • Hint: Note: This will help assess building materials and structural integrity. Be advised: For security reasons, please do not share pictures with personally identifiable elements such as house numbers or car license plates.
  17. Click Save.

    Image question in survey layout

    You'll add two more questions about the participant's residence.

  18. Add a Number question to the end of the survey:
    • Label: How many people live in your home?
    • Validation: Must be an integer
  19. Click Save.
  20. Add a Multiple Choice question to the end of the survey.

    This is a multiple choice question type for which participants can select multiple answers. Similar to the Single Choice question type, you define the answer choices and how they appear in the survey (vertical or horizontal).

  21. Edit the question:
    • Label: What are the age ranges of the people who live in your household?
    • Hint: Check all that apply.
  22. In the Choices section, create the following answer choices. (Remember, you click the plus sign to add more answer choices.)
    • Choice 1: 0-5 years old
    • Choice 2: 6-17 years old
    • Choice 3: 18-60 years old
    • Choice 4: > 60 years old

    Edit tab completed for Multiple Choice question

  23. For Layout, select Horizontal. Click Save.

    Multiple Choice question in survey layout

    You've completed the first section of the HOA Emergency Preparedness survey in which you collect general information about the participant.

Add questions for the 9 Fix-it safety checks

In the second part of the survey, you'll add some yes/no questions to determine if the participant has performed the 9 Fix-it prevention safety checks in their household. People can perform the 9 Fix-it safety checks around the home to ensure that they are prepared for earthquakes and household fires. These questions are part of the RISK study using the PAR approach.

  1. Add a Single Choice question to the end of the survey.
  2. Edit the question:
    • Label: Safety check 1: Are televisions in the home secured?
    • Hint: e.g., secured to where they are located, such as the cabinet, table or wall
    • Choice 1: Yes
    • Choice 2: No
    • Choice 3: Delete from the list

    Edit tab completed for Safety check 1

  3. For Layout, select Horizontal.
  4. Make it a required question and click Save.

    Safety check 1 question in survey layout

  5. Add eight more Single Choice questions to the end of the survey.
    • As before, for each question, provide two answer choices: Yes and No.
    • Format all questions with a horizontal layout.
    • Make all questions required.

    Question #LabelHint

    Question 12

    Safety check 2: Are computers in the home secured?

    e.g., secured to where they are located, such as the desk or table?

    Question 13

    Safety check 3: Are bookcases secured to the walls?

    Question 14

    Safety check 4: Are large cabinets secured to the walls?

    Question 15

    Safety check 5: Are any objects placed above sofas and beds?

    e.g., framed pictures, mirrors

    Question 16

    Safety check 6: Are all exits (doorways to outside) clear of obstruction?

    Question 17

    Safety check 7: Are functioning smoke alarms present in each room?

    Question 18

    Safety check 8: Are there fire extinguishers in the home?

    Question 19

    Safety check 9: Verify there are no overcharge plugs in the home

    e.g., no multi-plugs plugged into a multi-plug

    Safety check questions in survey layout

  6. Click Save.

    To gather more detail on the responses to the 9 Fix-it questions, you'll add four more questions that will only appear when participants answer Yes to specific safety checks (1, 2, 7, and 8).

  7. Click the Add tab.
  8. Drag a Dropdown question into the survey layout and position the question below Safety check 1 (question 11).

    Dropdown question positioned below Safety check 1

    The new question becomes question 12 in the survey. The Dropdown question type provides answer choices in the form of a drop-down list in the survey. This question type uses minimal space in the survey and can be beneficial when surveys are being completed on mobile devices.

  9. Edit the question:
    • Label: How are they secured?
    • Choice 1: Locks
    • Choice 2: Pad
    • Choice 3: Straps
    • Choice 4: Velcro

    Edit tab completed for Dropdown question

  10. Click Save.

    Dropdown question in survey layout

    Now you'll set a rule to relate this new question to Safety check 1.

  11. Click the Safety check 1 question to make it active. Click the Set Rule button, and set a rule with the following condition: If the answer is Yes, show the question How are they secured? Click OK.

    Safety check 1 and related question

  12. Add another Dropdown question and position it below the Safety check 2 question.
    • Edit the question using the same label and answer choices as the other Dropdown question.
    • Set a rule to relate this new question to Safety check 2 based on the following condition: If the answer is Yes, show the question How are they secured?

    Safety check 2 and related question

  13. Add a Number question below the Safety check 7 question:
    • Label: When were they last tested to be in working order?
    • Hint: estimate number of days
  14. Set a rule to relate this new question to Safety check 7: If the answer is Yes, show the question When were they last tested to be in working order?

    Safety check 7 and related question

  15. Add another Number question below the Safety check 8 question.
    • Edit the question using the label How many extinguisher units?
    • Set a rule to relate this new question to Safety check 8: If the answer is Yes, show the question How many extinguisher units?

    Safety check 8 and related question

  16. Click Save.

    Your survey now contains 23 survey questions in total.

    You have just completed the second section of the HOA Emergency Preparedness survey, where you asked the participant if their household performed the 9 Fix-it safety checks.

Add questions for an inventory of emergency assets

In the final part of this survey, you'll ask questions that will help the HOA compile an inventory of available resources and assets that could be useful in an emergency situation.

  1. Add a Single Choice question to the end of the survey:
    • Label: Is someone in the household trained in First-Aid?
    • Choice 1: Yes
    • Choice 2: No
    • Choice 3: Delete from the list
    • Layout: Horizontal

    First-Aid question in survey layout

    Next, you'll add a question to help gather a list of items at the residence that may be useful in an emergency situation.

  2. Add a Multiple Choice question to the end of the survey:
    • Label: Select items in your home that could be used in case of an emergency response
    • Hint: check all that apply

    When you need to provide several answer choices, you can use the batch edit method to add them to the survey.

  3. In the Choices section, click Batch Edit.

    Batch Edit

  4. In the window that opens, replace the text by pasting the following list of answer choices:
    Axe
    Batteries
    Blowtorch
    First-aid kit
    Flashlight, candles, matches
    HAM radio or AM/FM radio
    Handheld radios
    Ladder
    Portable generator
    Satellite phone
    Saw
    Shovel
    Stockpile of food and water for 7 days
    Tent
    Town/city map
    Wheelbarrow

    Batch Edit window

  5. Click OK.

    Emergency items question in survey layout

  6. Add three Single Choice questions to the end of the survey.
    • For each question, provide two answer choices: Yes and No.
    • Format the questions with a horizontal layout.

    Question #Label

    Question 26

    Do you have an up to date emergency contact list or phone tree directory?

    Question 27

    Do you have a current evacuation plan?

    Question 28

    Do you have a local neighborhood or community disaster plan?

    Three Single Choice questions in survey layout

    You'll add one final question to collect additional comments from the survey participant.

  7. Add a Multiline Text question to the end of the survey:
    • Label: Additional comments:
    • Hint: please list other resource items that could be useful in an emergency
  8. Click Save.

    Multiline Text question in survey layout

    You now have 29 questions in total.

Publish the survey

  1. Scroll through your HOA Emergency Preparedness survey to review the content.
  2. Click Preview to check that all survey questions are correct.
  3. Click the Phone or Tablet buttons to see how the survey will appear on mobile devices.

    Phone and Tablet buttons

    You can also test the various question types and rules within the preview. For example, you can confirm that the rules you set are working as expected.

  4. Scroll down to the Safety check 1 question and select Yes and then No to confirm that the related question appears only when you select Yes.
  5. Click the Close Preview button to return to the survey.

    Close Preview button

    When you're happy with the survey content, you can publish it and start to collect survey data.

  6. Click Publish.

    Publish button

    The Publish Survey window opens.

  7. Click Publish.

    It may take a moment to publish the survey. When it's completed, a Published Successfully message briefly appears. An additional message indicates that you can now launch the survey URL and distribute it to end users for data collection.

    Published Successfully message

  8. Click OK.
  9. Click My Surveys.

    Survey gallery with a thumbnail for the new survey

    Your new survey appears in the survey gallery. Once you have other surveys available, you can use the search and sort functions to filter or rearrange your surveys.

In this lesson, you used the Survey123 website to create and author a survey to support the HOA emergency preparedness plan. The survey consists of three sections: general participant information, the 9 Fix-it prevention safety checks, and emergency asset inventory. You configured many different question types in the survey and also learned how to relate survey questions so that certain questions only appear in the survey based on responses to previous survey questions. In the next lesson, you'll share the survey and complete it as an end user to generate some sample survey data.