V2 Question Type: Geolocation

 

About

The geolocation question type takes location data and uses it in forms. It can be used as a:

  • Selector (Location): Opens a map view on a mobile device and allows mobile users to select a location. This can also use dispatched coordinates.
    • Users have the option to tap an icon to get driving directions in their default map/directions app on their mobile device (ProntoForms for iOS 8.2.1 and Android 7.5 and up)
  • Stamp: Acquires the current location for use in forms.
    • A stamp is collected whenever the page containing the stamp question is opened in the form.

An example of a Geolocation question on a large-screen iOS device is shown below:

2019-01-11-iOS-Geolocation01.png

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Form Builder

In the Form Builder, the Geolocation question appears as shown below:
2019-01-11-FB-Geolocation01.png

The Question Edit screen for the Geolocation question type has two tabs: General and Help Options. This article will go through each of the tabs.

2019-01-11-FB-Geolocation02.png

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General

Unique ID 

The Unique ID is the reference for the question. For more information on Unique IDs, read: Overview: Unique IDs. It can either be auto-generated based on the question text, or customized.

Control Types

The Geolocation question type supports two controls: Geo Stamp and Geo Location.

  • Geo Stamp: When mobile users open the page containing the geo stamp question, the question collects a location. Users cannot edit the geo stamp question.
  • Geo Location: Geo Control allows users to acquire GPS coordinates on a map.  It attempts to acquire location information when the user hits the Get Location control map in the form. It can also be used to open driving directions in the mobile device's default map app. 

 

Tips for Form Designers:
  • Geo Stamps are best used to take a snapshot of where your mobile user is when they're filling out forms. It's useful, for example, to verify that an inspection was done at the inspection site.
  • Geo Locations allow interaction from the user and can be dispatched to.
    • Driving Directions: Use this control with a dispatched address and your mobile users can open driving directions directly from the ProntoForms app.

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Restrictions

Restrictions control how your mobile users interact with a question. They can be set on the question itself, or controlled by Conditional Logic.

  Required Read-Only Hidden on Device Hidden in Reports
Geo Stamp ✓ * 
Geo Location

* Geo Stamp questions automatically collect location data. Users cannot interact with the answer, and therefore Geo Stamps are Read-Only by default. Required is disabled for Stamp because if location services are unavailable, this data cannot be found, which can interfere with data collection.

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Help Options

Adding "Help" content to forms gives mobile users access to support and other resources out in the field.  Help content is available to users through a button embedded beside a question.  Any question in the form can include a link to Youtube videos, web pages, or HTML-formatted work instructions. 

For more information on Help Content, please read: V2 Forms: Adding Help Content to Questions

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Driving Directions

Mobile users can use dispatched or selected Geolocation coordinates to launch driving directions from the ProntoForms app. Simply tap the directions icon in the Map view once you've selected a location.

Note: This feature is only available on ProntoForms for iOS 8.2.1 and Android 7.5 and above.

2019-01-22-iOS-GeoLocDriving.png

 

 

Technical Details

Location Services

Location Services must be enabled for ProntoForms on your mobile device in order for a Geo Location to be collected.  This is an OS-level setting.

Note:  The mobile device battery may discharge more quickly when Location Services is enabled.

Read how to enable Location Services on your device.  

 

Location Accuracy and Working Indoors

As GPS technology only functions in areas where there is satellite visibility, most GPS devices do not work well indoors.  On iPhone and Android devices, assisted GPS is used to determine location, using network information in addition to satellite data.  Although less precise, these technologies can provide a location when indoors where a GPS signal is not available.   

  • Mobile users who work primarily outdoors are good candidates to use the Geo Location capability on any of the supported devices.  
  • Where some form of Geo Stamp/Control is still desired, although location precision is not as critical, the Android and iPhone Geo Location capability offer a network-based location that can usually be acquired indoors.

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Location Fixes

Location fixes are split into two classifications depending on the accuracy: Fine and Coarse.  This accuracy is determined by the system services used for the fix.  GPS would be considered Fine, while Network would be considered Coarse. ProntoForms stores the most recent location fine AND coarse location fix; whenever a new fix is returned, it replaces the previous fix for that accuracy.

The logic to determine whether to grab the fine location fix or the coarse location fix is as follows:

  1. If a fine location fix was acquired within the last 5 minutes, use it.
  2. Otherwise if only one of the fine or coarse location fixes are available and it is still considered valid (obtained within the last 5 minutes), use that.
  3. Finally, if both fine and coarse location fixes are available, grab the most recently obtained that is valid (within 5 minutes).

Consequently, in areas of poor satellite visibility, the Geo Location information displayed in the form may be up to 5 minutes old.  Note that the date/time collected with the Geo Location information will show the time the fix was acquired.

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Dispatching into Geolocation Questions

When dispatching into Geolocation data using Bulk Dispatch, you must convert your addresses into latitude and longitude coordinates.

If you need assistance doing this, web-based tools such as LatLong.Net may prove helpful. ProntoForms does not endorse any particular service.

If dispatching via the Web Portal, simply enter an address and verify that it is correct on the map display: 

2019-01-15-Dispatch-Geolocation03.png

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