Using offline workflows to collect survey data in Geocortex Mobile

Using Geocortex Mobile to collect survey data [Geocortex Tech Tip]

Phil MacIntyre
Phil MacIntyre
Quality Assurance Analyst
November 29, 2019

Using Geocortex Mobile to collect survey data [Geocortex Tech Tip]

Using Geocortex Mobile to collect survey data

One of the many interesting things about Geocortex Mobile is its ability to tap into capabilities from Geocortex Workflow, which allows you to build guided-end user interactions for virtually any business need that you have, including offline field data collection.

In today’s Geocortex Tech Tip, we demonstrate how this works by creating surveys guided by conditional logic to provide just the right questions and information to your users. They can complete these surveys online or offline for increased versatility.

Watch on YouTube.

Video Transcript

“Hi, I’m Phil. I’m a Software QA Analyst with Geocortex Mobile, and today we’re going to be looking at using the Geocortex Mobile app to collect survey data.

Today, we’ll look at surveys within the Geocortex Mobile app with the sample use case of a field worker who’s been assigned to perform some observations of salmon spawning. Here in the Pacific Northwest, salmon spawning is an important annual event and therefore, many efforts are made to protect and enhance the health of these animals and their habitats.

We’ll start our journey today by using a web map, which can be hosted in ArcGIS Online or your portal enterprise environment, and taking that web map over into our Geocortex Mobile Designer. From in here, you can create yourself a new app by using our mobile default template or you can jump right in like I have.

We’ll set up our web map by going into the ‘Map’ panel, using our map picker and selecting the web map that we would like to use. This will load the layers that correspond with that map and you’ve already made a strong start.

In order to set up the survey component of this experience, we’re going to take a look at the Geocortex Workflow product and its designer environment. Within the Workflow Designer, you start off with a blank canvas, but you can use one of the many different templates that we have to get yourself started. Otherwise, you can simply start grabbing some elements out of the tool kit on the side, dragging them in, configuring them on the right, and for a survey form, we can simply add some elements directly into our display form and continue that configuration.

I’ve already configured a couple for the sake of this demonstration, so let’s take a look at those now.

First up, we have a work order workflow, which will collect some information about the user who’s logged in, problems for some questions and then generate their assignment based on that information. Once they’ve reached their destination or are prepared to do their survey, at that point in time, we will then trigger a second workflow, which will collect survey data via form.

As you can see here via the nice simple layout, the data can be branched off, so that way users only see the information in the survey form that corresponds to the data collection that they’re about to do. Once I have my workflows ready, I simply navigate back to my Mobile App Designer and I add the workflow in wherever I would like to.

I’m going to add one in here to my ‘I want to…’ menu. I can start to add that in, just simply by typing workflow, which will allow me to create a new one or run one that I’ve already created, so I’m going to add that in. It has now been added in and I can simply save it. That’s all I have to do as an administrator.

While I’m still in the office before I hand this over to our field workers, I want to have a quick look at it itself, so I’m going to fire up Geocortex Go on my desktop. I’m going to fire up the app that I just created, and I can see the web map and the information that I have and it’s ready to go for the field users.

Now as a field worker, I’m going to fire up Geocortex Go in my preferred mobile device. This is going to take me back to my app selector screen, where I can select the salmon spawning survey app we were just looking at. It’s the same app, but now we see it in the nice mobile format, showing my current location here at our office in Victoria.

When I’m ready to go, I’m going to click on the ‘I want to…’ menu, which will show me a number of options including the work order workflow that we configured.

Clicking on that, pulls up a form which is pre-populated with some information based on the user that’s logged in – in this case, me – along with some questions down at the bottom. You’ll notice as I start to provide some answers, additional questions get unlocked based on the responses that I provided in a previous question, demonstrating some of our conditional logic capacity.

Once I fill those all in, I’m going to click on the ‘Get Assignment’ button, and that’s going to pull up my work assignment. This includes the area that I’ve been assigned to, some of the tasks that I’m supposed to undertake while I’m there and when I’m ready I’ll click on the ‘Confirm’ button. This is going to pan the map to focus on the feature that I’ve been assigned to work on.

While I’m still in the office, I can have an online map experience and all the information will be live, but one of the advantages of the Geocortex Mobile app is the ability to work offline. By clicking on my map areas panel, I can see some custom map areas that I’ve created at the top along with some map areas configured by the administrator at the web map level at the bottom.

By default, we will use the standard base map from your web map; however, if you’ve side-loaded some tile package files, you can also add additional basemaps when you’re creating your map area.

In this case here, I’ve added in that title package file, I can switch over to that and so this way instead of the topographic map, I’m going to have some world imagery map for my map area. Simply give it a name, some detail and there we go!

For the sake of the demonstration, we will take a look at one that I’ve really created and you’ll see I’ve got the nice world imagery bit, my map area bounded by the red box and the rest of the tile package file in the background, so I can make other map areas.

Now, I’m going to zoom in, target my feature that I want to work on, we will see the different fields that I’m going to be populating along with the workflow the top of the form, the salmon spawning one.

Once I click on that, it’s going to open up the first page of the form, which shows some gated logic, depending on which button I pick, I’m going to get a different form as appropriate.

Let’s click the November one, and that’s going to pull up the first page of the form demonstrating which species are spawning along with a variety of different fields that I can use to collect information.

We can collect the survey date via a date picker – or that can be done automatically – we can use the drop-down menu for selecting the species that were observing. We’ve got a nice little number interface along with a slider bar, so we can specify how many adults we’ve observed, we can use a time picker to state when we’re doing that observation. We’ve got a nice little number picker with the plus minus buttons for specifying how many we’ve added, a little text box to describe what sort of samples we’ve gathered. I can then list the average length of the samples that I collected and then rate their overall health with some check boxes.

If there’s any additional notes, I can add those in at the bottom, so it won’t mention that we found some sea lice here, and when I click ‘Next’ it’s going to take me on to the next page of the forum.

Here, I’m going to be asking questions about the overall watershed health as opposed to fish themselves, and so again I’ve got a number of elements that I can use to assess the streams health, so the animal’s habitat. Things like the water level, the overall health, I can add some information about the overall state of the stream and the nearby riparian area, oops don’t need emojis, we technically support them, but you don’t need them.

There we go, ‘Some good water level some erosion of the banks but good tree coverage’.

Once I’m done, I can now also attach a photo if I’d like. I’m just going to grab one here, toss that in, there we go. Then I’m going to click next and it’ll take me to the last page of the form, which is going to be looking at the restoration efforts to improve that habitat.

I’ve got a little dropdown option here, again some checkboxes to rate the overall restoration efforts and then I can also select one or multiple items from the list box to describe what it’s like. And then again, I’ve got a little textbook that I can put any information about any barriers.

When I hit ‘Submit,’ the form is going to add all that details into the feature, going to attach the photo, and then it’s going to pop up and alert letting me know that my survey has been completed successfully.

While I’m still offline, that data is going to be stored in my device, in my map area. Once I get back to having a data connection, I can then push those changes back up to the cloud, and the next user coming through when they go and look at the web map, they’ll be able to see, all my data has been added in.

There we go, we see the results of my survey, we’ve got some related records for some historical stuff and then we’ve got some pictures that have been attached to that feature. We can see that state of that stream overall.

There we go! We have now completed our survey, we fill in all the information, and my job as a field worker is complete.

I hope you found this video to be helpful and if you have any other questions, please feel free to go to geocortex.com or check out some of our other YouTube videos on our channel.

Thank you and have a great day!”

Want to get a closer look at Geocortex Mobile technology? Click the button below to learn more about the product, or to book a personalized demonstration.

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