Field asset and Furniture surveys are typically carried out by estate staff as part of their normal duties. Surveys may be pre-planned, or may be setup to allow for ad-hoc reporting when staff see something that needs doing. The staff can record the inspection using the Tree Survey or Estate Survey Android™ applications (on their mobile phone or tablet), or the data can be noted down and later entered directly into the OTISS web site.

We use the term furniture as a general term for items of outdoor infrastructure, for example:

  • estate/farm furniture: gates, fences, signs, water taps, water meters, water troughs, stiles, kissing gates, etc.
  • park furniture: benches, signs, notice boards, playground equipement, water taps, stiles, kissing gates, gates, fences, etc.
  • street furniture: signs, lamp posts, litter bins, post boxes, etc.

Viewing the Furniture Data

The Furniture button shows the furniture/assets as rows on a table/spreadsheet. Read more about how to sort and filter the data and edit the data. The spreadsheet can be used to select/filter items, and then various reports can be created.

The survey form can be customised to suit your own working practice and for each individual client’s requirement – see below.

The table (at bottom of this page) lists the data that is recorded for each site furniture inspection.

Asset Types

For each estate, you setup up a list of Asset Categories. Each category consists of a number of Asset Types. Each Asset Type can be assigned a map icon. See the Estate-> Furniture Survey. Addition Asset Types can also be added when using the OTISS survey apps.

On the survey forms, each item is assigned to one of the Asset Types.  The optional SubType field allows for further distinctions to be recorded (if required) – enter some text or select from the configurable dropdown list.

Each Asset Category or individual Asset Type can be configured to have a slightly different survey form. This is intended where some of the survey data fields are not relevant to specific asset types and so can be omitted from the survey forms. Similarly, some fields can be configured with different drop down lists for the same field.

Survey Notes…

The Description and Survey Notes fields allow for free text entry. But to speed up the survey process we provide a means of quickly entering your commonly used sentences and phrases. Below each field there is another button that allows you to select from a list of commonly used sentences and phrases, these are appended to the text field and can then be modified to suit this particular inspection. You can customise this list of commonly used sentences and phrases via the Customise Survey button on the Furniture page – see below.


The survey form has three separate Recommendation fields to record what work is required. Each recommendation field has a separate Timescale/priority, so that you can itemise short and long term work/maintenance recommendations. The Timescale fields record your suggestion of how quickly the work should be carried out; e.g. Urgent, 3 months, 1 year, etc. On the Maps page, you can colour code the icons based on when the recommendation/work is due for completion. Read more…

Work Done…

Each of the three Recommendations above also have a set of fields that are used to record the work actually carried. We record the date the work was done, the name of the OTISS user (i.e. who was part of the team who actually did the work – or who did a followup visit to check everything was done) and some work notes. The work notes may be useful when the job was not straight-forward. You can record reasons why all the work was not completed, or why extra work was carried when more issues were uncovered. Read more…

Shape and Location

Furniture items can be shown as POINT, LINE or POLYGON shapes. The Shape field is used to control how an item is displayed. Simply select a new shape and press Save – the location co-ordinates will be automatically converted to the required shape.

The location coordinates are shown in the standard Well Known Text (WKT) representation for GIS objects. We don’t expect that you will ever need to edit these coordinates directly. It is recommended to change the shape and location on the Map page. Valid WKT formats are as follows:-

  • POINT (x y)
  • LINESTRING (x1 y2, x2 y2, x3 y3, …)
  • POLYGON ((x1 y1, x2 y2, x3 y3, …, x1 y1)) – NB: the last set of coordinates must be the same as the first.

Map Icon Colours

The colour of the map icons can be configured based on the data values assigned to some of the survey fields – e.g. condition, life expectancy, work due, customText.

The Furniture Map Colours web page (found via the Customise Survey button on the Furniture page), is used to setup the required mappings from data value to colour. On the Map page, use the Furniture Options panel to select which of these configurations to use, and to show the Colour Key/Legend.

Each colour row has: (a) a Display Text that is shown in the Colour Key; (b) a separate Data Value that is used to match with the data; and (c) the map colours to use for the icon and text.

  • The Display Text and the order of the rows in the Colour Key can be changed in any way you want. The little arrows on each row allow you to adjust the order of items so they appear in a sensible order in the Colour Key/Legend.

  • The Data Value determines which colour to use for each tree/item. The ‘~ Other’ data value is used when no match is found – i.e. ‘Otherwise use this colour’.

  • Numeric Data Values will be treated as ranges; e.g. a set of rows with Data Values of 0, 1, 5, 15.5, 30 will match the values 0, 1+, 5+, 15.5+, 30+ respectively. In this case the ‘~ Other’ data value will match any negative numbers.

The Populate Colours button allows you to pick one of the supported fields and it will create/update the colour key for that field. It will search the surveyed trees and add a value-colour entry for all the data values found. You can then use the edit/pen icon on each row to change the icon and text colours.

The Work Due value is calculated as the number of ‘days’ from today until the date the work is due to be completed (i.e. date of the inspection plus the recommended timescale). Different colours can be setup to represent the priority of the required works. For example: GREEN: no recommendations/no work required, RED: work already overdue (negative values), RED: work due within the next year (i.e. 1+ days), ORANGE: work due after 1 year (365+ days)

Customise the Survey Form

Each client has its own survey form which can be adapted to accommodate any specific requirements. Customizing a survey form for one client does not change the survey forms for your other clients. You can customise most of the fields on the survey form via the Customise Survey button on the Furniture page – i.e. all fields except those field marked with a * in the table below.

Edit each field to customise the following:-

  • Each field has a ‘Field Id’ which is what OTISS uses (internally) to identify each field on the survey form and when generating reports.
  • The field’s ‘name‘ is what actually appears on the survey forms and reports. You can change the Field Name. A shorter name is suitable for columns in tables and spreadsheets, whereas a more informative name can be used on the survey forms.
  • A picklist of common values will speed up data entry on the mobile devices. This can be ‘suggestion’ list where you pick an item from the list but can also entry a value manually; or you can tick the “Value must be one of the list below” box, which means that you can only select from the list (i.e. manual entry is not allowed). It may be worthwhile adding ‘not applicable’ or ‘not recorded’ to the picklist for when an actual/sensible value is not appropriate.
  • Set some fields as mandatory so that you do not forget to provide a value when filling out the survey form.
  • Hide any unwanted fields to make the survey forms shorter and uncluttered.
  • You can configure minimum and maximum values for the numeric fields.
  • Use the up/down arrows to change the order of the fields on the Android survey apps. Note: only the Android survey form is changed – the web version of the survey form is unchanged (for now).

With the Survey Templates button, you can copy a survey that you setup for a different client. Use that as a starting point and then modify it further as required for this client.

Any suggestions?

OTISS is constantly developing to suit our users’ requirements. Please contact us if you have suggestions for features or options that you would like to see.

Furniture Data Fields

Survey & Site * Each inspection is carried out within a Survey. The Survey dictates the site for this item.
ShapeSelect Point, Line or Polygon
LocationThe location – stored as longitude/latitude in the GIS database. Also displayed as national grid references. Assets can be drawn as points, lines or polygon – see Shape below.
Reference * A reference name or number. e.g. DX06542, BD-32-11.
TypeAn item/asset type selected from a list of furniture, e.g. gate, fence, sign, bench, water meter, etc.
SubtypeA subtype or category.
DescriptionA detailed description of the item. For example: its general structure, its location, potential issue, etc. This information tends to be unchanging between inspections.
InscriptionA record of any inscription, information or warnings on the item.
Survey NotesDetailed notes of what was seen during this inspection.
Inspection CycleHow long before this item should be inspected again, e.g. 1 Year, 2 Years, 5 Years, etc.
ConditionA summary of the overall condition: good, fair, poor
Number of ItemsUsually 1. But can be used to record the number of items the a group, or how many steps, etc.
HeightA measurement or estimate of the height in metres.
LengthA measurement or estimate of the length in metres.
WidthA measurement or estimate of the width in metres.
CustomText1A configurable text field (max 50 letters).
CustomText2A configurable text field (max 50 letters).
CustomText3A configurable text field (max 50 letters).
CustomNum1A configurable decimal number.
CustomNum2A configurable decimal number.
CustomNum3A configurable decimal number.
Recommendation 1
Timescale 1
WorkDone 1
A set of recommendations for maintenance work required. A timescale for these recommendations, e.g. No Action, Urgent, 6 Months, 1 Year, 2 Years, etc.

During any follow-up work, you can use the WorkDone fields to record when, by whom and some notes about what work was actually carried out. These WorkDone fields are often hidden whilst doing the surveying, and then made visible for the follow-up work.
Recommendation 2
Timescale 2
WorkDone 2
Another set of recommendations for maintenance work required. As above… These fields are often hidden if you only want to have one set of recommendations.
Recommendation 3
Timescale 3
WorkDone 3
Another set of recommendations for maintenance work required. As above… These fields are often hidden if you only want to have one set of recommendations.
Date Inspected * The date on which the item was inspected.
User Name * The name of the person who carried out the inspection.
RemovedWhen an item is ticked as ‘removed’, then it will no longer appear on the maps or reports showing the ‘most recent’ survey data for that site. The previous survey data is retained, and can be seen when a specific survey is selected.