Geography Question

October 12, 2017


 A Geography question can capture various geographic information as listed below:


  • area (polygons),
  • paths (polylines),
  • single (point) and
  • multiple (multipoint)

For example, it can be used to define the exact location and the area of a land, such as a plot or parcel. This question type requires specific tablet configuration, as explained below. 

Creating a Geography question

In Questionnaire Designer, 

  1. Click on the Question Type text box.
  2. Select Geography from the pop-up menu.
  3. Choose the Geometry type from the menu, and save the changes. 

Distribute maps

Assign maps to interviewers

Map assignments, like all other assignments made on Headquarters, are part of survey setup.

To make assignments, follow these simple steps:

  • First, log into Headquarters.
  • Then, upload maps to the server. Click on UPLOAD .ZIP FILE. Select a zip archive containing one or more maps (.tpk or raster files, specifically GeoTIFF files that can be produced with a wide range of commercially available and free to use tools)
  • Next, assign maps to users. Click on the Update user-to-map linking. Upload a tab-delimited file that assigns one or more maps to users. 

For any given map, the survey manager may preview the map on Headquarters, and see the users to whom it is assigned


Setting up the tablet

The Geography question requires 1) the Interviewer application with ESRI map support, and 2) synchronize under the maps menu to receive the assigned maps. 

  1. When downloading the Interviewer application on the tablet, uncheck the Exclude ESRI Map support check box. Then, follow all the steps outlined in this article. 

2) Synchronize to receive maps on tablets

Map assignments, like all other interviewer assignments, must be downloaded via synchronization. Because map assignments are special (and may contain very large files), their synchronization has a special screen and special process that is separate from typical synchronization.

To download assigned maps, follow these steps:

  • Open the Interviewer application
  • Navigate to the map synchronization screen. From the Interviewer dashboard, tap on the overflow menu. Then, select maps. From the maps screen, tap on the sync button.
  • Wait for maps to download. Because map files may be quite large, it is strongly advised that map synchronization be done in the head office before deployment to the field.

How Geography question works on a tablet 

To answer a polygon-geography question, the enumerator taps on the Tap to record  button. 

Select a Map
If more than one map has been uploaded to the tablet, the enumerator should select a map first. Tap on the button in the upper right corner, as shown below. Then, select a map from the list and close the window. 

Select an Area

The enumerator must select an area by pressing on the map for each dot that represents the coordinates of the area to appear. You can edit the shape by adding more coordinates or moving the existing dots/area. Once complete tap on Save.

The area and length will appear.  

Edit shape
Tap *To edit area *button to revise the selected map.You can edit the shape by adding more coordinates or moving the existing dots/area. Once complete tap on Save.


The geography question is exported in a single column. Individual vertices of the geography question are separated with a semicolon, while coordinates (longitude and latitude in this order) are separated with a coma. A dot is used as a decimal separator. The name of the exported variable is the question’s variable name that was defined in the Questionnaire Designer. 

Example: answered geography question (named area) with 3 points: