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Home - General / All posts - Two new videos: Create and Use a Survey Form, and Connect to Data Collected in the Field

6,899 post(s)
#27-Nov-21 14:34

There are two new videos supporting the new KoBoToolbox field data collection facilities supported in the latest build. These are video versions of the new user manual topics (user manual updates expected later today):

10 Minute Tutorial - Create and Use a Survey Form - The first of two videos showing how to collect data in the field with Manifold Release 9. We create a new survey form using the KoBoToolbox ecosystem, the same ODK/Enketo based technology used by Esri's Survey123. We create a form to collect information and locations for restaurants in Chartres, France. We use the form to capture data for a restaurant, automatically syncing collected data into our Kobo server. The next video shows how to connect Manifold and automatically harvest collected data.

10 Minute Tutorial - Connect to Data Collected in the Field - The second of two videos showing how to collect data in the field with Manifold Release 9. The first video showed how to create a survey form and to use that to acquire data for restaurant locations.

This video shows how easy it is to form a live connection to the KoBo server storing our survey data, automatically linking tables and drawings into our Manifold projec.t We create a map of restaurants surveyed in Chartres, France, using a satellite layer for background. We add labels and see how when we add more data using mobile or other devices, we can refresh to automatically capture those new locations in the Manifold map. Works in the free Manifold Viewer, too!


6,899 post(s)
#27-Nov-21 16:06

Links to new user manual topics are in the new What's New topic.

916 post(s)
#28-Nov-21 02:09


At 10:30 in the demo you mentioned that many Survey123 forms could be read, unmodified, in KoBo. One of the civil engineering companies I've worked with uses Survey123 to connect to their drafting office. Does that suggest that this ESRI shop could now read their field data into Manifold and ESRI? I want to be excited about this.


6,899 post(s)
#28-Nov-21 07:55

Does that suggest that this ESRI shop could now read their field data into Manifold and ESRI?

There are three levels of compatibility.

The first level are the forms used. Both Survey123 and KoBo use Xform internally, saving and reading that Xform using XLSform format (a simple Excel xls file) for interchange. If you have a cool Survey123 form that you're using and you want to share it with somebody else, when you save it, it saves as an XLSform in .xls or .xlsx format. If you go to Esri's web sites, the various Survey123 samples and forms both Esri and other users have shared online are in that format.

My experience is that over 90% of those forms saved from Survey123 will pop open and can be used unmodified if you upload them into the KoBo form designer. That makes sense, since both Survey123 and KoBoToolbox forms are built using Enketo Core or Enketo Express.

As for going the other way, saving a form created in KoBoToolbox and then reading that .xls into Survey123, I don't have personal experience on how good the compatibility is, but I've heard that Survey123 will read virtually all of them unmodified, especially if it is a plain vanilla form that uses typically-used features.

In either case, it's easy to modify an XLSform: just pop the .xls or xlsx open in Excel or in any of the open source (Libre Office, etc.) spreadsheet programs. The forms are really simple worksheets that are easy to edit however you like.

The second level of compatibility is what server is used to collect the data from the form. KoBoToolbox uses KoBoToolbox servers, either provided free by the KoBo organization or a KoBoToolbox instance running on your own server. Survey123 uses Esri's AGOL (ArcGIS On Line) servers. KoBoToolbox forms running either in KoBoCollect or as a webform will not sync to AGOL servers. I don't know if Survey123 has the ability to sync with a generic ODK or KoBOToolbox server. My guess is that Esri has made sure it requires AGOL.

The third level of compatibility is for a GIS application like ArcGIS Pro or Manifold to be able to get the data that has been synced into servers from the mobile collection effort. With ArcGIS Pro, you're part of the AGOL system, so you can connect to server side storage, with the data staying in the AGOL server, just linked into your ArcGIS Pro project. To get data from there into local storage, you could save it into a local geodatabase.

The new KoBo dataport gives Manifold an analogous capability. Connect to the KoBo server, just like Arc would connect to the AGOL server, and the data appears in a data source in your Manifold project, but still resident up in the KoBo server. To get that data local, it's easier with Manifold since you can just copy and paste it into the project.

As for Esri shops reading their field data into Manifold as well as Esri, that's easy to do. They'd just grab the data the way they always have and save it locally in a geodatabase. They've just now read their field data into an Esri format for local use, with no need to connect to AGOL to get it. Manifold can open that geodatabase and use the data the same as ArcGIS Pro.

916 post(s)
#28-Nov-21 18:28

Very good. Sounds like there is at least a high degree of compatibility with ESRI's popular tools. Well done.


9,906 post(s)
#28-Nov-21 06:11


Comment ça se fait que l'établissement que vous identifiez dans le vidéo s'appelle "Le café serpente", avec un "e" terminal? Le serpent est masculin, c'est un donné--et "serpent" ne sert pas, pour autant que je le sache, comme adjectif.

Il existe un autre usage, qui traite "la serpente" en féminin--s'agissant ici d'une feuille de papier tres fin, destinée à proteger les pages d'un livre gravé. Mais cette usage me semble bien improbable.

Vous avez demandé, en tant de client?

[I think this will turn out to be a pun that I just don't get, and that I will feel quite stupid.]


9,906 post(s)
#28-Nov-21 06:28

en tant que client [oops]


6,899 post(s)
#28-Nov-21 07:29

Well, that's what they call themselves, "Le Café Serpente", so that's what it is. :-) Their website.

My French is so bad I often confuse masculine/feminine, so I never asked.

By the way, I've always translated the name as "The Serpent," using the archaic English for "snake," given the medieval, ecclesiastical setting. I think that's sly humor, to name a place on the doorstep of the cathedral with an association to temptation.


554 post(s)
#28-Nov-21 07:50

Perhaps it is a conjugation of "serpenter" which means something like "to coil"?

Lionel, where are you when we need you?


9,906 post(s)
#28-Nov-21 20:32

Alain Rey in Le Robert historique notes that "serpente" used (in the early 14th century) to signify a female serpent.

So the name seems likely to be a reference to Eve's supposed role in the Fall--much as Dimitri says.

151 post(s)
#28-Nov-21 20:35

Dear all, ou chers tous,

The name of Serpente is given by the street nearby, Meaning Le Café de la Rue Serpente. This name is usually due to the sinuosity of the street.

151 post(s)
#28-Nov-21 20:41

But in the case of the Rue Serpente in Chartres it seems to be more nested. The street was given this name because of the Hôtel de la serpente, being in this case the Hôtel de la femelle du serpent but may have been linked to a person's nickname which the feminine suggests.


9,906 post(s)
#28-Nov-21 20:46

Fantastic. Clearly this is completely OT but also that more than a few of us enjoy this kind of enquiry. Thanks!

One more (a bit loosey goosey, OK a lot): "serpente" in this case could conceivably come from "serre-pente", that is, the place (or street) where the cathedral's altar cloth was safely kept.


9,906 post(s)
#28-Nov-21 21:04

(No that's ridiculous, I agree! You can do almost anything with fake etymology.)


873 post(s)
#28-Nov-21 20:43

you are all right. With google you can find everything ! after some research ...

there is also street in Paris that have the same name refer to wikipédia : Rue Serpente — Wikipédia ( .

Another web site about History of commune speak a little about " rue serpente" Chartres : Serpente (rue) - CRGPG (


union, doc , APIand most important deepl & keyboard shortcut


1,933 post(s)
#30-Nov-21 14:18

I'm really glad to discover Kobo Toolbox here ! The Manifold connector is a great news too.

"Le café serpente", avec un "e" terminal? Le serpent est masculin, c'est un donné--et "serpent" ne sert pas, pour autant que je le sache, comme adjectif.

Tim, le nom du café est effectivement étrange. En anglais, ça se traduit par "The Coffee Shop is twisting around".

"That's a given" ne se traduit pas par "c'est un donné". On dit plutôt "c'est un fait".

Pour le reste, c'est très bien écrit :)


873 post(s)
#01-Dec-21 04:54

After post about ClearScript i discover now : KOBO !!! Outstanding is the input form Client that use HTML5 API Geolocation( HTML Goodies Mozilla ) for createPOI, track , area for everyone !! I could not find such a plug in on any others general Form platforms ...only specific to gis : GIS Cloud , Survey123 or FieldMaps from ArcGIS ,Fulcrum ,Enketo , KoBoToolbox . Very happy to see that ODK has XForms Specification & documentation

Geolocation API (

Geolocation HTML5 supported browser

Humanitarian Data Solutions - (YouTube)

Open Data Kit with ODK - (Website)

Form Builders for Mobile Data Collection – MIT Center for Civic Media

Relationship between ODK and KoBo (Forum)

Survey123_workshop.pdf (

union, doc , APIand most important deepl & keyboard shortcut

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