GeoForm: Editing via pop-UPs got you DOWN?

Frustrated with submitting data via a pop-up? Collecting map information doesn’t need to be so map-centric. Many non-GIS users are accustomed to entering data via a form, not a map pop-up. It’s not always about the map, sometimes it’s about easily collecting data.

You can try the GeoForm out. Build your own by reading the rest of this blog post.

How does it work?

The GeoForm template is an ArcGIS Online web mapping application that allows users to enter point-based data through a form, instead of a map’s pop-up. It loads through the browser and does not require any downloads on your mobile device. The GeoForm is powered by a Webmap that leverages an editable Feature Service and can be configured through an easy-to-use interface. Using this template, you’ll be able to geo-enable data and lower the barrier of entry for completing simple tasks. For the best experience, author a Feature Service containing the fields you want to collect with “Volunteer only” permissions and add it to your Webmap. This will make sure that users can only add data, but not update or delete any data through the GeoForm.

In order to test this template before it is fully released, you’ll need to “Be an Early Adopter

This template can be used to gather input from inside or outside of an organization and collect valuable content for collaboration (see Share Items for more details). It’s also great for when you need a crowdsourcing application that doesn’t require any login information (Share with “Everyone”). If you work for an emergency management agency, the Esri Disaster Response Program suggests that you set up a GeoForm, prior to a disaster. In the example shown here, we modified the Damage Assessment template for simple data entry. Think about the type of information you want to collect and the questions you want to answer, then publish a web map with a hosted feature service and launch the GeoForm so it can be shared when you need it.

Builder interface walks you through each step to build the application. The form is driven by the layer you choose in the map.

Simple

This is meant to be simple for your audience to understand and easy for you to build. It is also responsive by design. For more advanced data collection in the field, the Collector for ArcGIS is a better fit.

The GeoForm will look great on all devices as it uses the Bootstrap framework to respond to different device sizes. Currently, the template supports basic offline editing (submitting upon re-connection), but we have other improvements in the works. Additional future features could include: creating services during configuration “on-the-fly”, configurable coordinate systems, customizing map pins, and other style customizations.

When you’re done, share the form with your audience.

Try it Out

The GeoForm is currently in the Early Adopter phase of being a template, but we’re hoping it can graduate into a solid and widely used application. Please send us your feedback via GitHub or on the ArcGIS item to help make this template better. If you are a developer, we would love to see your customizations as well.

If you are going to the 2014 Esri User Conference and want to learn more about this template, visit us at the ArcGIS Online Island or the Esri Disaster Response Program Booth in the Exhibit Hall.

Happy Editing!

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Leave a Reply

34 Comments

  1. Paul Doherty says:

    If you want to see how one “Early Adopter” organization is using this, check out this short YouTube video: http://youtu.be/LKEKD5_ju5o

  2. narnold says:

    I gave the sample a shot and was able to make some points without any contact info or details. Can you use validation/regex for the attributes exposed in this app (required values, format, etc.)?

    • Matt Driscoll says:

      Hey narnold, It should do validation for attributes that are required on the service. However, we are improving this experience. Thanks for the feedback.

  3. esri4591 says:

    Wonderful template! One question about this template “How to use radio button on the template? I can’t find the way how to do that. Anyone know, please advice

  4. thasegawa says:

    Nice application! I have one question: Is there a way to easily edit (via code) a geoform application that was created through the builder? I tried attaching the zip file for my code to the geoform application viia arcgis.com. I tried attaching the entire geoform-template-js-master folder, default.js, and user.js. All have resulted in no change to the geoform application. Thanks for your help in advance!

    • Matt Driscoll says:

      Hello, you can edit the defaults.js file to configure it. The builder just creates this configuration that is stored on ArcGIS.com. Here is an example of the stored config that you could take, modify and use in defaults.js. http://bit.ly/1xXWnsx

      We will be writing some instructions on how to self configure this app in the future.

  5. lee.butler says:

    Great template. However, if I have more than one feature service in my web map is their anyway for both features services to have their own GeoForms to allow for seperate data capture in each?

  6. 95vtec says:

    I see how editing defaults.js works for the map customization, but what if I want to add a custom button (to replace the radio button)? Where should I start?

    • Matt Driscoll says:

      Hi 95vtec, Could you further explain what you would like to do? We’re working on making the field types customizable so you could choose betwen text, textarea or menu vs radio button. Is that what you mean? Currently, it just determines that for you.

  7. lucy.hick_noaa says:

    Hi Matt & Paul,

    This is a great app and I have an immediate usage case for it. However, I am having trouble getting radio buttons and dropdown boxes to display. I created my feature layer from a GDB. I have several fields with domains and one with only two options. Doed the GeoForm Creator automatically create dropdowns/radio buttons for these fields, or is that something that i have to customize?

    Also, it doesn’t seem to recognize my domains. I can type anything in the box and I get a green checkmark.

    • Matt Driscoll says:

      Hi Lucy, Yes, it will automatically recognize and display domains as radio/menu depending on how big they are.

      If its not recognizing, can you share the URL so that we can investigate? Thanks

  8. bkeinath says:

    I’d like to have users submit multiple attachments and be able to title upload button to give them some clue as to what they should be uploading. Something like “upload picture of your building” for the first attachment and “upload picture of your pet” for the second attachment. Is this possible and which of the files do I need to edit?

    • Matt Driscoll says:

      bkeinath, the latest code in the development branch allows you to do this within the config if you’d like to grab that code.

      • bkeinath says:

        Sorry I added my comment to the wrong reply. Can you give me some direction on where I modify the code to create multiple attachments? I don’t see it in default.js

        • Matt Driscoll says:

          Hi, I must have read your original comment wrong. You can specify the text for the attachment but we don’t support multiple attachments at this time. We may add that functionality in the future.

          • bkeinath says:

            Understood. Where do I alter the text? I believe that solves my original problem. I would also be interested in where I can add validation that a file has been attached to stop a user from submitting an entry without an attachment.

        • Matt Driscoll says:

          You can edit the “attachmentLabel” and “attachmentHelpText” options in the config to put any text in. Tha’ts a good suggestion for making the attachment required, we’ll add that in. Currently, its only optional.

  9. alextaochen says:

    I had a quick try on the GeoForm template with my map shared on ArcGIS Online. It’s a great app, but what I found is it does not work with existing features. I mean I could only add new points by pinpointing on the map while not able to edit attributes for existing point features.

    Also, when I tried with config with the GeoForm app it didn’t allow me to select my feature layer (Step 2) if it has “Add new features” setting disabled.

  10. direstrepo says:

    Greetings. As I configure the fields, according to need

  11. ahope577 says:

    Any chance this will be incorporated in Portal for ArcGIS in the future?

  12. jkgisguy says:

    I’ve configured this app and am having trouble posting data back to the server. If I allow the server to auto set a date it works fine but in the case where a user sets the date it is unable to post back due to a data type mismatch. Has anyone else seen this?

    • Matt Driscoll says:

      Can you try the code from the development branch on GitHub. I believe we fixed this issue a while back. The date was being sent as a text string when it should be a timestamp.

  13. bgenty92300 says:

    Hi,
    I have a problem with geoform template.
    When I submit new entry, the new point on the map disappears
    I used a feature service . the projection is ok. The feature service i used there works well in the webmap agol.
    But at the end when i submit new entry, the new entity and data are not added on the map nor in sde..
    I am blocked
    would you have a track ?