Data Collection Mapping is as Easy as Survey123!

May 22, 2017

After visiting with Project ACORN for last month's blog, we reached out to Roger and Anita Palmer, our friends with GISetc in Dallas, Texas, to see what they might have that would take students' data collection results a step further. As always, they came through with flying colors!  Imagine sending your students out to different areas to collect data, then have them return to class and be able to show them a map with all of their collection sites mapped out on it with the results from each site! Amazing, right? Read on as Anita walks us through the steps to using Survey123 in the classroom. 

What can you do with that data?

We enjoy conducting field data collection activities with students, and even more, we love the opportunity to display those data on an interactive map and graphs. When we study Project ACORN, we are so impressed with the powerful data that students are collecting, so why not create digital data collection surveys? In this blog post, we will give you simple instructions on how to create your own data collection surveys and view the results on an online map and graphs… all automatically, and all FREE!

Using the technology device of your choice (laptop, iPad, Tablet, Smartphone, etc.), enter sample or made-up data on the Survey123 form Enter the date your “tree” is planted, tree type, air temp, and soil temp. Enter the location of each of your survey points;Point 1: click on the “Find my location” button to allow the survey to find your actual location. 

Point 2: click and drag the map to a new location for your second point. View your points on a map. Click the plus and minus buttons to zoom in and out and click and drag on the map to pan it until you see your points. Click on each point to see the data inside the points. 

The map will continue to be automatically updated with points that others who read this article are entering from their devices. 

There are also some wonderful graphs available right in Survey123 that will allow you to explore and analyze your collected data further.

What do you need to set up your own survey

Decide on your data questionsOn --Date--, I will plant a --Tree Species-- seed and will collect the --Air Temp-- and --Soil Temp--. I can also add a photo of my choice. (Remember, you can be collecting any kind of data — not just about trees!)Date PlantedType of TreeAir TempSoil TempPhotos and FilesSign up for a FREE Esri ArcGIS Online Organization account.Sign into Survey123 using your ArcGIS Online Organization account login.Drag and drop the different question type widgets to easily set up your question types. If you have any questions, there are very simple instructions on the help pages. Feel free to email Anita if you have any questions about this simple activity. We’ll be looking for your points on the map!

Anita Palmer

Anita Palmer taught middle and high school technology and social studies.  She has authored and taught over one hundred technology institutes and classes for K-12 teachers focusing on integration of GIS technologies throughout the curriculum both in the USA and in the international arena over the past ten years.

Mrs. Palmer is co-author of the original “Mapping Our World: GIS Lessons for Educators”, the community-based” Community Geography: GIS in Action!” Teacher’s Guide, the newly released Our World “Mapping Our World” and “Analyzing Our World” as well as the first GPS activity book “Going Places with GPS.”  Mrs. Palmer was a member of the development team for the NASA funded “Birdseye View” primary school curriculum and was one of three developers and teachers of the Eastern Michigan University GIS Masters Certificate program for educators.  She is an active member of TAGE and GEM in Texas and a teacher consultant in the Geographic Alliance in Nevada and inducted into the GAIN Hall of Fame in 2004.