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ArcGIS Online Challenge (learning path)

Explore potential uses of ArcGIS Online in your research and teaching at Ohio State

Learning Objectives

Module 3 provides an introduction to Field Maps and Survey123, two ArcGIS Online apps that can be used for collecting geospatial data (data about where) and associated attributes (data about who, what, when, etc.).


Through completing this module, you will:

  1. Describe potential use cases for "map-centric" (Field Maps) and "form-centric" (Survey123) data collection strategies
  2. Recognize how Field Maps and Survey123 are integrated with other components of ArcGIS Online
  3. Carry out a data collection workflow using Field Maps or Survey123, based on the perceived relevance of these apps to your own work


Complete this series of short readings for an overview and example use case of collecting data with Field Maps and Survey123.



Based on what you learned from the readings and the likely relevance of each of these data collection apps to your own work, choose one of the following tutorials to gain some hands-on experience with Field Maps or Survey123. Each tutorial includes steps associated with preparing for data collection and collecting data.


Note: New layers created by analysis operations must have unique names within Ohio State's ArcGIS Online organization. To ensure the layers you create have a unique name, we encourage you to add your Ohio State name.# to the end of the layer names provided in the instructions for the activities below.


  • Field Maps tutorial: Evaluate Equitable Drinking Fountain Distribution (est. 60 min.)
    • The City of Berkeley, California, plans to promote healthier alternatives to sugary beverages, such as tap water. To support this effort, you'll collect and analyze the location and condition of drinking water fountains across the city. In particular, you'll determine if the fountains are distributed equitably, meaning that their location and condition do not differ in areas of lower or higher socioeconomic status. First, you'll build a layer to use in ArcGIS Field Maps. This layer will support the collection of fountain locations and their conditions. Then, you'll analyze the collected fountains alongside demographic data to answer questions about equitable access to clean fountains. (Credit: This tutorial was originally developed by Esri's Learn Team.)
    • Notes:
      • To complete a portion of this activity, you will need to temporarily install a mobile data collection app on an Android or iOS smartphone or tablet. When you sign in to the Field Maps mobile app using ArcGIS Online, enter ohiostate in the box for your ArcGIS organization's URL, and click Continue. This should redirect you to sign in with your Ohio State organizational credentials.
      • In the "Add the layer to a map" section, you can skip all of the steps related to creating and sharing your content with a group (steps 9-19).
      • For the "Collect data on a mobile device" section, you may notice that Field Maps uses your device settings to identify your current location. You can pan and zoom the map to any location to practice adding fountain points. To protect your privacy, please do not capture points at your location of residence.


  • Survey123 tutorial: Map Meaningful Places in Your Community (est. 40 min.)
    • Everyone has a different experience with relating to and interacting with their environment—the landscape of places, resources, and people around you. How you interact with these places and the social ties you build with the people in them forms your community. Your community encompasses the area around you, where you live, how you get to school or work, where your family gets food, what activities and hobbies you can participate in, and where you play and spend your free time. What places have meaning to you and why? In this lesson, you will find the places most important to your community by creating a survey to collect and map data. (Credit: This tutorial was originally developed by Esri's Learn Team.)
    • Notes:
      • If you encounter a prompt that asks for your ArcGIS organization's URL when signing in to Survey123, enter ohiostate in the box, and click Continue. This should redirect you to sign in with your Ohio State organizational credentials.
      • When you reach step 2 of the "Collect data" section, you do not need to check any of the boxes for the "Who can submit to this survey" setting. As long as you are signed in to your ArcGIS Online account, you can click on the option to "Open the survey in a new tab" and submit mock data points.
      • When you reach step 5 of the "Collect data" section, you are asked to have your classmates fill out and submit the survey. Instead, you can create mock data points by completing your web-based survey several times and entering information for various locations across campus, such as different university library locationsTo protect your privacy, please do not capture points at your location of residence.

Brainstorming Questions

Think about the following questions before moving on to Module 4, and reflect on how you might transfer what you are learning to your own work.


  1. In the context of your own research, what geospatial data do you anticipate needing to collect? Based on what you've learned so far, could Field Maps or Survey123 be an appropriate option for you? Why or why not?
  2. If you are an instructor, can you envision a scenario in which your students would benefit from collecting geospatial data in the field using Field Maps or Survey123? If so, briefly describe the scenario (e.g., full course, specific assignment, capstone project) and how these field data collection apps would help students to meet the associated learning objectives.

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