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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The GeoForm has graduated! Click here to view the most recent blog about the GeoForm.