biotics@natureserve.orgThe Observations survey is comprised of two different dropdown types:

  • populated from the choices tab within the XLSForm (question type = select_one or select_multiple)
  • populated from separate CSV files (question type = select_one_from_file or select_multiple_from_file).

Dropdown values populated from the the choices tab within the XLSForm can be updated, with some exceptions. Specific values should not be altered because they are used by the Observations toolbox and/or NatureServe methodology, including those with list_name:

  • conceptual_feature_type, 
  • locational_uncertainty_type, 
  • dist_unit, 
  • confidence_extent, 
  • obs_area_length, 
  • obs_area_unit,
  • obs_length_unit, 
  • data_sensitive, 
  • data_sens_cat
  • status
  • qc_status
  • draw_method (survey)

For the changes to the dropdown values within the choices tab to be realized within the survey (in the field), Publish the survey after making the desired changes.

The species, higher_taxonomy, and location_use_class lists are found within separate csv files. These are populated by running the attached queries in Biotics Query Builder and saving them to a csv file. If you do not have Biotics, either request your local Network member run the queries or send an email to, indicating for which state(s) the data is needed. These dropdown lists contain thousands of values, hence are contained in separate files for performance reasons. Additionally, by saving the  files to the survey folder within ArcGIS Online (AGOL) and linking them to the survey, the files can be updated without republishing the survey.

  1. Re-run the queries (found within the zip file) in Biotics' Query Builder.
  2. Save the results as a CSV file with the same file names.
    NOTE: If collecting data from multiple states in a single survey, add a column named state (as required by the survey) and populate it with the appropriate state name (i.e. California). Add data from the other states to the same file, populating with the appropriate state name, so that data for all states is contained within a single file (i.e. species.csv, location_use_class.csv, higher_classification.csv)
    NOTE: If your survey contains an Other species field, scroll to the bottom of the species.csv file and add an Other entry within the label column with a name = 0.
  3. In ArcGIS Survey123 Connect, open the survey.
    1. From the Table of Contents, choose Files and navigate to the media folder.
    2. Copy/save the updated file to the media folder, overwriting the previous file.
    3. Update and test the survey to verify the changes have been realized.
  4. In, within Content, My Content, from the Folders section within the Table of Contents, navigate to the survey folder.
  5. Select the updated csv to open its Details page.
  6. Select Update and Browse to the updated csv file found within the survey’s media folder (i.e. C:\Users\your_user_name\ArcGIS\My Survey Designs\New Mexico Observations\media) and click Update Item.
  7. The updated data will be reflected automatically in the survey.

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