Have you ever wanted to collect spatial data from anywhere in the world for any purpose that you might think of? Well most people are familiar with the Google Forms method of harnessing data from the public, but however there is lack of a precise spatial component in there. For example: When applicants are registering for an event in which attendees might need to be picked up from their various locations.
A google form will only ask you to enter the location in words. It is often difficult at times for drivers to navigate to that specific location when its only written down and stored somewhere. What if we knew the exact location precise to 5m of where the driver is supposed to pick up an attendee? Would the driver get lost? Would there be any unnecessary costs?
All these questions can be answered by the GeoForm Application that you can create to suit your needs provided by ArcGIS Online.
In this tutorial we are going to be learning how one can get to create their own Geoform for spatial data collection anywhere around the world.
What do you need?
- ArcGIS Online Subscription account (If you do not have one you can sign-up today.)
- A spreadsheet software tool (i.e Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, LibreOffice)
What will you learn?
- Creating an editable feature layer in ArcGIS Online
- Saving a web map
- Creating a Web Application using a template
So this tutorial has been categorized into three phases, where you will learn different aspects along the process. In each phase you will learn a different aspect as listed above. So let’s get started.
CREATING AN EDITABLE FEATURE LAYER IN ARCGIS ONLINE
In this section we have provided you with a demo CSV (attendees.csv) file with data that you can basically use for a start. The file contains data for a competition in which attendees have registered their names, contact details and locations. The file is not that big, do not worry about that its just the beginning phase of the as we create out application.
- Login to your ArcGIS Online account at https://www.arcgis.com/ and click My Content
- Click Add Item box –> From Your Computer
- Navigate to the file inside your computer.
You can always rename the name of your layer. Be sure to always select a tag for the Feature Layer that you have selected.
- Scroll down the tab in order to configure our locations field. In our case our file does not have any coordinate fields so in this case we will be using the Geocoding service.
Select the Address and City Fields to match the Location Fields column as shown below:
Make sure the data types match your data set columns.
- Upload your data and the Geocoding Service embedded in the ArcGIS Online Account will do its job.
You will receive a message to confirm that the locations were successfully found. If you have our dataset, all locations should have been matched.
- After your Feature Layer (Hosted) has been added to the account navigate to settings and enable Editing. These days ArcGIS Online now requires that all publicly shared data be enabled for Public Data Collection so you may need to enable the option.
Saving A Web Map
- Navigate to Overview, Click the Open In MapViewer option and Add to new map with full editing control. You should be seeing the screen as the one below:
After clicking, You will be taken to the WebMap Viewer page with a page as the one below:
- For now lets not worry about editing the web map, we are just going to save it in order to proceed to the next stage. We are going to publish another article on Creating WebMaps with ArcGIS soon, just stay tuned and subscribe to the notifications.
- Click Save and fill in the details for referencing and identification of the WebMap. Refer to the screenshot below for guidance.
Its always good practice to use Tags as they help you when you search for feature layers and maps over the web. A summary will also let people know what services you have built. Click on Save map.
Creating a Web Application using a Template
- Click on the Share Button which is next to the Save Button that you just used to save your web map.
Make sure the web map is shared with the public.
- While you are on the same page, scroll down and click on the Create Web App button.
- Find the GeoForm template and click on Create Web App. Fill in the requires details, Name, Tags and Description of the application as required and then click on Done
- You will be taken to the GeoForm configuration page where we are going to configure our GeoForm.Click Next –> Select Web Map (In this case our web map is the default) –>Next –> Select the Layer for to use for the WebMap.
Select the Feature Layer that we have uploaded attendees.
- Fill in all the details and under the Fields section and make sure the labels have the exacts words that you would want the attendees to see when registering. You can refer to the screenshot below:
You can choose to disable the City and Address field as the GeoForm will ask the attendee to specify the location with a pin mark that and if the applicant is at their pickup location, the application can also automatically geo-locate the user.
- Configure the Style, Viewer, Options in order to suit your style and needs. When you have configured you can also see a preview of your application just before you finalize it for publishing.
- Finally go to Publish tab, and Click the Publish button
Now that you have published your first Geo-Form, all the attendees can now fill it in with their data and this will also help the driver know where exactly to pickup the attendee.
In addition, having spatially enabled forms also allows for planning, now all the attendees will know what time to expect their ride and then planners know which routes are easiest, quickest and cheap.
Hopefully this tutorial will help you and your organization in data collection.
Please feel free to Contact Us if you face any challenges along the way. We will be uploading the Tutorial Video on our Youtube channel so stay tuned and subscribe.