City of Boulder: Smart Surveys

The Transportation Division of the City of Boulder conducts transportation surveys. These surveys are managed by National Research Center Inc. (NRC).

Dev IQ won a competitive bid process to design and build iOS & Android apps to collect travel behavior data from city residents. This is the City’s first step in a paper-to-digital transformation.


High costs of producing, mailing, and manually capturing thousands of hand-written paper surveys. Increasing lack of interest and response by the population, especially younger generations.

“On a tight budget and even tighter timeframe, Dev IQ delivered an app that met the City’s needs and provided a valuable new way of collecting data. Based on this first app and our experience working with their high performing staff, the City has committed to a long-term relationship to create new versions of the app for other survey needs.”

Chris H.Senior Transportation Planner, City of Boulder


Reusable and white-labeled iOS and Android mobile app with GPS trip-tracking abilities. Improved overall customer experience and journey, reaching people where they are. Reduced the time and hassle to respond while increasing the value and amount of information captured.

Key Features

  • Auto-detect of trips (GPS location and time).
  • Notification reminders for important dates (survey start, submission deadline, etc.).
  • Data collected is optimized and presented to City planners in a friendly web dashboard for a more efficient analysis.
  • GPS points and routes can be exported into GIS systems.
  • User Interface was designed for a broad range of users, to ease the process of logging trips, and to simplify a complex survey.

The app was divided in sections:

  • Welcome & Tutorial: warm and clear explanation of the survey, its importance, and how it works.
  • Transportation Questionnaire: questions about transportation habits and type of vehicles owned.
  • Work Questionnaire: typical demographic questions.
  • My Trips: list of trips recorded by GPS during one day.
  • Feedback: final questions about the experience.
smart survey screen with a map and the user's route
smart survey screen with questionnaire

Automatic Recording of Trips

The most important section of the survey is My Trips, where all the activity is recorded automatically by GPS algorithms designed specifically to detect movement and duration for the type of behavior expected.

Trips are listed chronologically and show start or end times and a route map. Users describe further details such as purpose and transportation mode used.

This information is much richer to the City planners than what traditional surveys can ever provide. Capturing it in an easy and convenient way is key to the app’s success.

Smart Surveys mockup showing Admin Dashboard

Correlation With Previous Data

As part of the study and request by the City, paper surveys coexisted with the mobile app. This same survey has been done since 1991 with paper; the data collected would have to match all previous records to preserve the relevance of the study. Having both digital and paper helps compare the response for each medium and its adoption.

Get the App / Resources

Use the links below to try the app and review the City of Boulder’s Transportation Department website, policies, and Master Transportation Plan:


The City now has a high-performance, repeatable survey that yields data that correlates with decades of past surveys plus additional, new invaluable data about transportation behavior and usage compatible with GIS systems and computer models. The data is ultimately used to measure the City’s progress in meeting Transportation Master Plan and greenhouse gas emission goals.

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