Google Sheets & Forms

Google Sheets provides a convenient alternative for Pozi users to publish data to the web. The convenience is that the data is in a form of a spreadsheet which will be familiar to everyday users.

As well as Google Sheets there are also Google Forms.

Google Sheets can be treated simply as spreadsheets, or they be associated with one or more Google Forms which can be integrated into a web page to provide a neat and convenient way for users to enter data.

Google Sheets

To start with, let's look at creating a simple spreadsheet.

Firstly make sure you are logged into Google.

When logged into Google you can click on the Google Apps icon (top right) and select Sheets. This will provide you with the opportunity to start a new spreadsheet, which can either be a blank sheet, or you can choose from one of the predefined templates. Let's choose a blank sheet.

Now you can add data just like a normal spreadsheet, including copy-paste from say a local Excel spreadsheet. You don't have to explicitly save the spreadsheet, it happens automatically.


When you've finished populating your spreadsheet you'll likely want to share it with others, so click the Share button at the top right.

You will be prompted to give the sheet a name, and then you'll have the choice of who you want to share it with. For this example let's share it with anyone who has the link, so first click the dropdown, and then click More... at the bottom and choose On - Anyone with the link. After you click the save button (which closes the sub-popup) let's test whether we've been successful by clicking Copy link, and then opening a new browser tab and pasting the link in the URL box.

You now have a direct link to your Google spreadsheet which you can embed in say a document or perhaps a web page, and you or others will be able to directly access it, provided they have been given permission as we just discussed with the sharing option.

Google Forms

Again, make sure you are logged into Google and click on the Google Apps icon (top right) and select Form (you may need to scroll down a bit). This will provide you with the opportunity to start a new form, which can either be a blank form, or you can choose from one of the predefined templates. Choose a blank form.

Edit the form to suit your needs, taking special note of the icons just to the right of the form which can be used to add things like questions, images, and extra sections.

After completing the form, click on the RESPONSES heading at the top of the form. You will see the green spreadsheet icon (top right of the form). Don't click it yet. As mentioned above, a Google Form can be associated with a Google Sheet, and the green spreadsheet icon provides access to the linked spreadsheet. However, in this case you've just created a new form which is not yet linked to any Google Sheet, so when you click the green icon (you can do it now) you will be prompted to create a new spreadsheet or select an existing. For the purposes of this exercise we will create a new spreadsheet. Click create.

The new (linked) spreadsheet will contain pre-filled column headings to reflect the elements in your form. It will also contain a pre-generated Timestamp column which is not part of the form. You may wish to add a column at the end called id (we recommend it) to provide a unique (and simple) attribute which may come in handy later. The Timestamp attribute will be unique but is complex and will be harder to work with.

As an experiment, from the spreadsheet menu select Form > Edit Form to take you back to the form, and then add a new question to the form. Then click the RESPONSES heading followed by the green spreadsheet icon which will take you back to the linked spreadsheet, and there you will notice the new question you just added will appear as a new column.

The association between Sheets and Forms

Google Sheets and Forms can exist independently, or they can be linked as we've just described using a Google Form. The association (when it exists) is one-to-many, ie. a spreadsheet can be associated with many forms, but a form can only be associated with one spreadsheet.

It is suggested that the starting point be the form, and to create a spreadsheet from the form, or perhaps associate it with an existing spreadsheet (which will add a new tab to the sheet).

Using Google Forms in Pozi

Once you have created your forms they can be integrated into Pozi to capture user feedback and reports, which then become available to the Pozi client to assist them with services to their own clients (the public). What follows is an explanation of the user experience, with details of the coding in the backend to support it.

When a use selects a location on the map, a Form can be used to provide a reporting mechanism within Pozi in two ways:

  • Either as a general report about something at that location (form icon on the main map), or
  • As a specific report relating to a particular layer (form icon on a card layer).

General Feedback Forms

General feedback forms are designed to provide a generic reporting mechanism directly from the map. When available, if the user selects anywhere on the map the pencil icon will appear on the left of the map:

By clicking the pencil icon the predefined form will open.

Specific Feedback Forms

Specific feedback forms are designed to allow a user to provide direct feedback which relates to a specific layer on the map. When the user selects anywhere on the map they are presented with a data card of layer information relating to that point. If an individual card layer has an associated Feedback form it will contain a Feedback button at the bottom of the card:

By clicking the Feedback button the predefined form will open.

Integrating your new Form into Pozi

Let's go back to the form we created earlier, or alternatively create a new form. Once we are satisfied with our form we need to obtain the URL of it. The URL can be used to directly access the form in a browser, but the primary reason we want the URL is to provide it to Groundtruth for them to integrate it into Pozi.

At this point you should be looking at something like this:

Click the SEND button at the top right which will open the following dialog:

Now click the link icon

to switch to the Link tab:

Finally, click COPY at the bottom right to make a copy of the link URL. This is the URL you will provide to Groundtruth, which will look something like this: