🔥 Use of online maps in Survey Solutions

If you are currently using or plan to be using online maps in Survey Solutions Android applications (Interviewer and Supervisor) for your data collection, please, be advised about the following important change.

Effective at the end of June 2024 the use of the online maps supplied by Esri in the Survey Solutions Android applications will require setting up an API key. This service supplies map tiles data used as a base layer, in particular for the Map Dashboard and Geography questions’ interface.

An updated version of the Survey Solutions software will be released before then that would allow the Survey Solutions server administrator to enter this key in the workspace settings. More information will be provided in the documentation update accompanying the release of the new version.

The use of the offline maps is not affected by this change.

Frequently asked questions

Q1: Will I be affected if I do not update?

A1: Yes. Even if you do not update the online maps will stop working in your deployed application after this change.

Q2: What will happen if I do not update?

A2: Upon selecting an online map in the list of the maps the interviewer will not get the base layer of that type (such as ‘satellite imagery’ or ‘satellite imagery with labels’).

Q3: Do I need to update just my Survey Solutions server or do I need to update the mobile devices as well?

A3: You will need to update both the server and mobile devices.

Q4: Where do I get the necessary key?

A4: The key can be obtained directly from Esri.

Q5: Is the key free?

A5: The use of the key beyond the free quota is subject to charges. The pricing and conditions for this service are determined by Esri. The World Bank is not responsible for any costs resulting from such use.

Q6: Can I use different keys for different data collection operations?

A6: Yes, but these operations need to be placed into different servers or different workspaces on the same server.

Q7: Will I be able to use online maps if I update the Survey Solutions application, but do not enter the Esri key?

A7: In the absence of the key the online maps will not appear as choices (and hence will not be selectable) in the Android mobile applications.


Additionally, see Online maps key article and the updated version v24.06 (released June 06, 2024).

Hello all Survey Solutions users !

I need to get an ESRI API key for my organisation, and, not being a mapmaker myself, I request some help. What I have understood so far is that ESRI offers 2 millions tiles for free ( Pricing | ArcGIS Developers). These can be used for

“Access and display basemap layers for streets, navigation, satellite imagery”

I would guess that these tiles are what you need for Survey Solutions’ GPS questions, and to enable the online maps on the interviewer app (to see assignments locations etc).
Now I have a few questions for the community :

  1. Has anyone subscribed to the ESRI service to get that API key ? If yes, what services are necessary to enable Survey Solution’s cartography features (GPS questions, cartography questions, online maps on the interviewer, itinerary feature with maps, etc) ? Are the basemap tiles enough (check the link above) ?

  2. Would the “itinerary” function of the interviewer app consume tiles ? (I would guess not, since it only passes GPS coordinates to an external maps app like google maps).

  3. Could someone give me an approximate number of tiles consumed by a typical, simple search on google maps, or by a visualisation of assignments on an online map within the interviewer app ? Since this number depends on many factors (zoom level, the size of the viewport, area viewed, etc), any additional context is welcome.

I’ll do my own tests in the next few days and report here, but, in the meantime, any help is welcome :slight_smile:


I just did a quick test : Zooming in and out (from world scale to the scale of a small house) five times for different places in a medium town consumed around 1,600 tiles.
The 2,000,000 tiles are offered per month. If you only have a few interviewers and that they use the cartography features of Survey Solutions moderately, the 2 millions could be enough.

(This is obviously not a rigorous test, but I hope it can still help !)

It is necessary that this key has the “Basemaps ” scope enabled for the online maps to work in Survey Solutions Android apps

See for more details: Online maps key

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Correct. The Esri key supplied to the Survey Solutions Interviewer App is not passed to the other application handling the location intent.

That said, that other application may be consuming other services (free or paid) but it is out of Survey Solutions’ scope.

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