Winter 2022 updates: Survey improvements

The Collect Earth Online (CEO) team is excited to announce the launch of new and improved features that we’ve added to the platform. In response to feedback from our community of users, we’ve improved a number of key features, including survey question creation.

🎀 Survey question improvements

We’ve improved the process administrators use to create survey questions. Most importantly, they can now edit questions and answers, copy questions along with their answers, and bulk-add answers.

With the new editing functionality, users can easily fine-tune their questions and answers without needing to delete questions and start over. For example, questions can be adjusted to make them more precise, and typos can be fixed easily. Users simply need to type the new text into the question or answer box and press the “Save” icon.

Easily fix typos with the new edit functionality. For example, “Tipo” was mistakenly typed as “Tip”. By typing the correct text and clicking the “Save” icon, we can change the text without needing to delete the question and start over.
Easily fix typos with the new edit functionality. For example, “Tipo” was mistakenly typed as “Tip”. By typing the correct text and clicking the “Save” icon, we can change the text without needing to delete the question and start over.

The new ability to copy questions and answers means users can create the same question for multiple years without needing to tediously reenter the question with all of the answer options. To use this feature, simply select “Copy Question” next to the “Question Type” prompt. With this feature, you can also copy all of the questions’ children if desired.

The new copy question functionality allows project administrators to easily copy questions, including any children questions.
The new copy question functionality allows project administrators to easily copy questions, including any children questions.

In addition, users can now bulk-add answers using simple syntax. This allows users to quickly add many answers, and specify precise colors in hex.

The bulk-add feature allows users to quickly add many answers with specific hex colors.
The bulk-add feature allows users to quickly add many answers with specific hex colors.

Another improvement to the survey question interface is that now administrators can choose whether answering a question is either required or optional for the “Input – text” and “Input – number” question types. For example, when requesting that users input more information if needed, you can require users to input text or a number, or you can allow them not to respond.  

Administrators can now specify whether users are required to input text or a number.
Administrators can now specify whether users are required to input text or a number.

In addition, we have added the ability for more than one parent answer to trigger the next question. For example, when asking about land cover, multiple forest type responses might trigger a child question about the percent forest cover. Select multiple responses simply by holding down the Control key.

Multiple responses can now act as parent answers. In this example, when either conifer forest or deciduous forest is selected during data collection, the child question will be triggered.
Multiple responses can now act as parent answers. In this example, when either conifer forest or deciduous forest is selected during data collection, the child question will be triggered.

Finally, when you download the plot or sample data, the order of the question columns will always match the order they appear in the user interface (UI).

🎈 Other improvements

When selecting a template, the many public projects will now be hidden in the “Select Template” list by default. This allows users to more easily find their own institution’s projects. We added a  “Show Public Projects” checkbox that users can check when they want to see all of the public projects.

Users now have the ability to see only their own institution’s projects in the “Select Template” list or show public projects as well by checking the “Show Public Projects” box.
Users now have the ability to see only their own institution’s projects in the “Select Template” list or show public projects as well by checking the “Show Public Projects” box.

We have also made multiple small improvements to the Project Creation Wizard, including making text easier to read and making Survey Rules easier to understand. Survey Rules will now appear as a list both on the Survey Rules tab and on the Survey Questions tab. Mousing over the rules will show each rule.

Survey Rules will now be listed under the appropriate question on the Survey Questions tab. Mousing over the text—here “Rule 1: incompatible-answers”—will show details about the corresponding Survey Rule.
Survey Rules will now be listed under the appropriate question on the Survey Questions tab. Mousing over the text—here “Rule 1: incompatible-answers”—will show details about the corresponding Survey Rule.

 

CEO would like to thank its ongoing funders FAO, NASA–USAID SERVIR, and SilvaCarbon, a US government program. Thanks also to CEO’s technology partners: Norway’s International Climate & Forests Initiative for funding open high-resolution data availability; Planet for providing high-resolution imagery; and the Google Earth Engine team for creating a platform for Earth science data and analysis.

Collect Earth Online is working constantly to improve the user experience, and your feedback is invaluable. If you have ideas to share, please write to support@collect.earth.

Thank you!

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