I have a survey form with two geopoint questions. The first has bind::esri:fieldType set to null, and the second has the fieldType left blank. See a minimal example XLSForm below:

type name label bind::esri:fieldType
geopoint null_geopoint Null Geopoint null
geopoint saved_geopoint Saved Geopoint

When the survey is submitted, I would expect the coordinates saved as the feature's center, i.e. the point where the survey data shows up on a web map, to come from saved_geopoint. Instead, when I submit the survey, the feature is created at the coordinates of null_geopoint.

Switching the order of the questions fixes the problem, so it appears that the survey is always saving the coordinates of whichever geopoint question is first, rather than the expected behavior of saving the coordinates from the non-null geopoint question. In the full survey I am working on, through, it is not feasible to switch the order of the questions. Is there a way to get Survey123 to save coordinates of a geopoint question that is not first as its center?

(The survey is being published with Survey123 Connect version 3.11.123 and submitted with the field app version 3.11.164.)

  • I believe Survey123 will save a point geometry even if there is no geopoint field in the survey at all. So it may be related to that behaviour. Unfortunately, I don't know an answer to your question. Can you please explain a bit about why you want to include a null geopoint at the beginning and a saved geopoint later in the survey? Feb 11, 2021 at 21:36
  • 1
    PS. You could make the first geopoint part of a repeat, and configure the repeat to have only one instance. Then that geopoint would be saved in a separate feature class. This may not suit you either, but it would avoid it being used as the geometry for your main feature class. Feb 11, 2021 at 21:37
  • You are correct that by default a point geometry will be saved if no geometry question is included. However, I confirmed through testing that coordinates were being saved from the null geopoint question, not from my device's location, by inputting coordinates far from my location. See the answer below for an explanation of the issue. Why I want this ability: some surveys I am creating record multiple GPS coordinates, which may either be captured by the device or input manually, and it is not always the case that the first such question is where the feature should show up on a map.
    – Sky
    Feb 12, 2021 at 15:04

1 Answer 1


It turns out that Survey123 Connect determines the geometry type of a survey by looking at the first geopoint, geotrace, or geoshape question it encounters. If the first geometry question is null, Survey123 Connect creates a table for the survey; otherwise, it creates a feature layer for the survey. There is currently no way to capture the geometry from a second (or later) geopoint question.

For more details, see this answer to my question in the ESRI Community: https://community.esri.com/t5/arcgis-survey123-questions/coordinates-saved-from-null-geopoint-instead-of-non-null/m-p/1026126/highlight/true#M32437

If the first geometry question is null, the inclusion of a later non-null one should cause an error when attempting to submit the survey. The behavior I encountered, where the survey was submitted successfully and a feature was created at the coordinates of the null geopoint, was likely due to having already produced a feature layer for the survey when publishing an earlier version.

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