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Publish the survey

In the previous lesson, you changed some of the questions in your survey form to improve usability. In this lesson, you'll publish the survey so tour guides and ship captains can use it to monitor the locations of whales and other marine animals. Before you publish it, you'll modify a few aesthetic aspects of the survey, such as its thumbnail and background color. You'll also add a map to the survey.

Style your survey

First, you'll modify the thumbnail and toolbar background color to visually differentiate your survey from other surveys in the Survey123 field app gallery (which is where users will access your survey).

  1. If necessary, open your whale monitoring survey in Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS.
  2. In the form preview, click the Settings tab.

    Settings tab

    There are multiple tabs within the Settings tab for different kinds of settings. The first tab is the General tab, where you can modify the survey's title, provide a summary and survey description, and add a thumbnail.

  3. Click the default thumbnail image.

    The Select an image window opens. The Whale_Survey folder you downloaded previously contains a thumbnail image to use for the survey.

  4. Browse to the Whale_Survey folder and double-click Survey123_Thumbnail.png.

    Whale Monitoring thumbnail

  5. Update the Title, Summary, and Description with the following information:
    • Title: Whale Sighting Survey
    • Summary: A survey to record marine species observations
    • Description: The purpose of this survey is to allow tour guides and captains in Costa Rica to record observations of marine species, particularly whales and other cetaceans.

    The survey title appears when you open the survey from the gallery. It's not the same as the survey name, which is displayed in the gallery.

    Title, summary, and description filled in for the survey

    Because tour guides and captains will use your survey in potentially bright light conditions at open sea, you'll also modify the colors of the basic elements of your survey for more visual clarity.

  6. Click the Style tab.

    Style tab

    On this tab, you can customize colors for the survey text, background, toolbar text, toolbar background, and input text. You can also use an image as the background of your survey.

  7. For Toolbar Background Color, click Default.

    Toolbar background default color

    The Toolbar Background Color window appears. You can either choose a color or enter a color's hexadecimal code.

  8. For Basic colors, click the blue color in the third row and third column. Click OK.

    Blue color

  9. Optionally, experiment with the survey background color and toolbar text color to allow for more visual clarity.

Include a map in your survey

All surveys in Survey123 collect location data from the survey participants, usually from the user's device settings. The addition of a map is optional to your survey. However, an interactive map will usually provide more accurate and visible location information. You'll add a map to the survey by adding a geopoint question to the survey form, which prompts survey participants to mark the map where the sighting occurred.

  1. If necessary, open the Whale Monitoring.xlsx file.

    If you previously closed the file, you can open it from the Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS window. In the upper left corner of the window, click the Open XLSForm spreadsheet button.

    Row 22 of the spreadsheet contains a geopoint question.

    Geopoint question

    Geopoint questions allow users to capture a specific location in a survey. While survey responses in Survey123 will always attempt to capture a device's location even if a geopoint question is not included, a visible geopoint question on the form will result in better capture of location information in the form of a single set of GPS coordinates.

    When you include a geopoint question, a map is automatically added to your form. Next, you'll configure the map to be centered close to the survey location in Costa Rica.

  2. In the Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS window, click the Map tab.

    Map tab

    This tab contains settings for your survey's map's default zoom level and location. By default, the map shows the entire world, which isn't useful to your survey participants. You'll set the map's default extent to the decimal-degrees latitude and longitude values of the survey area.

  3. In the Preview Map section, change Coordinate Format to Decimal Degrees. In the Detailed Map section, change Coordinate Format to Decimal Degrees.

    Coordinate Format set to Decimal Degrees

  4. For Home Location, change the following parameters:
    • Latitude: 9.651419416
    • Longitude: -84.03296485
    • Zoom Level: 7.4

    Home Location settings

    The map changes its default location to Costa Rica. You'll preview the map in the form preview.

  5. Return to the Form Preview tab and scroll down to the final question (Location of sighting). Click Press to capture location using a map.

    Location of sighting map

    A map opens. The default location of the map is tied to your location settings. If your computer has no location settings enabled, the map shows the full extent of the world.

  6. Click the home extent button.

    Home button

    The map zooms to Costa Rica, the default location you specified.

  7. At the upper left corner of the map, click the back arrow to return to the form preview.

    You're now ready to publish your survey and share it with the public to enable anyone to record observations.

Share the survey

To make your survey publicly accessible, you must publish it. You have two options to share your survey with others. You can make it a public survey, enabling anyone with access to the link to participate. Or, you can use social logins, which allow users to participate using a Google or Facebook account. You'll make the survey public because you want to support citizen science initiatives and encourage guides, captains, and tourists to participate.

  1. If necessary, in the Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS window, click the Sign in button and sign in to your ArcGIS organizational account.

    Sign in button

  2. Once signed in, click the Publish button.

    Publish button

    A window appears with a warning that once a survey is published, you can no longer alter it without losing data collected by the survey. Your survey design is complete and you don't expect more changes, so you can ignore the warning.

  3. In the warning window, click Publish Survey.

    The survey takes a few moments to publish. When it finishes, a message informs you that publishing is completed.

  4. Under Publishing completed, click Ok.

    The account that published the survey is the only account that can currently access the survey and collect data using a mobile device. Next, you'll share the survey so others can access it.

  5. Go to the Survey123 for ArcGIS website. If necessary, sign in.

    Once you sign in, a gallery of your published surveys opens.


    If you were already signed in, you may need to click My Surveys at the top of the page to go to your gallery.

  6. For your Whale Sighting Survey, click the Collaborate button.

    Collaborate button

    The Collaborate page contains sharing options. If you want your survey to be accessible to the public (and your organization allows sharing outside of the organization), you must share it with everyone.

  7. Under Choose who can submit data to this survey, click to enable Everyone (Public).

    Share survey with everyone

    By default, when you check Everyone (Public), your survey is also shared to Members of my organization.

  8. Click Save.

    At the bottom of the page is the Survey link field. You can share this link so others can launch your survey. To the right of the link, there are options to copy the URL, scan the QR code to open the survey on a device, and launch the survey in a new browser tab. Below the link, there are additional options that change the link so it opens the survey in the Survey123 field app.

  9. Save the link via email or a messaging service so you can access it and take the survey on your mobile device.

    Survey123 also supports public surveys, which allows anyone to submit a survey without an ArcGIS account. Public surveys enable crowdsourcing and citizen science workflows.

Take a survey

Now that your survey is shared, you'll test it on the Survey123 field app using your mobile device. First, you'll install the field app on a smartphone or tablet, which are the types of devices the tour guides and captains will use in the field. Once you download a survey, you can complete it with or without Internet service. Surveys that guides and captains complete when the boat is out of range can be submitted later when a network connection is reestablished. You likely have Internet access, so you'll just test the survey while connected to the Internet.

  1. On your mobile device, go to your app store.

    If you don't have an Android, iOS, or Windows mobile device, you can also download the field app for your computer from the Survey123 for ArcGIS download page. Under Survey123 for ArcGIS, choose the appropriate download for your operating system.

  2. In your app store, search for and download the free Survey123 for ArcGIS mobile app. Install the app.
  3. Once the app finishes installing, open it and sign in using your ArcGIS organizational account.

    The My Surveys gallery opens. If this is your first time using the field app, you probably have no surveys on your device, so you'll need to download the one you want to take.

  4. Select the menu button in the upper right corner and select Download Surveys.

    Depending on your device, you may already be presented with a list of surveys. If so, skip this step. The following example images show the Survey123 app on an iOS device. There may be slight design differences for different devices.

    Menu button on an iOS device

  5. In the list of available surveys, select the Whale Sighting Survey that you created.

    Download Whale Sighting Survey


    A good way to find the survey is to sort the list of available surveys by how recently they were updated. Your survey should be one of the most recent in the list.

  6. When the survey is finished downloading, select Ok.
  7. Select the back arrow to return to the My Surveys page.

    The survey now appears in your gallery.

    My Surveys gallery

  8. Select Whale Sighting Survey.
  9. Select Collect.

    Collect button

    Your survey opens.


    Depending on your device's settings, you may be asked to allow Survey123 to access your current location. If you decline, you might be asked again in the future. Either way, you'll still be able to conduct the survey.

    Testing the survey

  10. Answer the survey questions as if you were a tour guide or captain observing a marine animal.

    What you answer doesn't matter; you only want to test the survey design on your mobile device. The final question of the survey, which asks for the location of the sighting, shows a map with your current location based on the location settings of your phone.

  11. Select the thumbnail map to enlarge it.
  12. Select the home button to center the map on Costa Rica.
  13. Pan the map to center the pushpin on the observation location (anywhere on the ocean near Costa Rica).
  14. When you finish, select the check mark to return to the survey.

    Complete the survey

  15. Select the check mark again to complete the survey.

    If you have an Internet connection, you have three choices: Send Later, Send Now, or Continue this survey. Other than Continue this survey, which brings you back to the survey in case you weren't finished yet, these choices determine when your survey will be sent to ArcGIS Online. Tour guides and boat captains will likely need to use the Send Later option once they return to port and establish an Internet connection. However, they must manually send the data after they connect to a network. You have an Internet connection, so you'll send your survey now.

  16. Select Send Now.

    Send Now button

    After you send the survey, you return to the survey information page. You can choose to take the survey again or review sent survey data. (If you had chosen Send Later instead, a different option would appear: Outbox. With this option, you can send your completed survey data when you're ready.)

  17. Select Sent.

    Sent button

    The app displays a list of your completed surveys for the Whale Sighting Survey. Currently, you only have one.

    List of sent surveys

    If you select the survey, you can choose to either edit and resend the survey or copy its data to a new survey. At the bottom of the list of surveys, you can select Empty to delete them all. You'll keep this survey and complete a few more surveys.

  18. Return to the information page for the survey. Complete and send two more surveys.

In this lesson, you made a few aesthetic and usability changes to your survey and published it. Then, you downloaded the Survey123 field app on your mobile device and tested your survey. In the next lesson, you'll create an app using survey data so guides, captains, researchers, and the public can access the survey results.