City of Boulder

Smart Survey

city of boulder
national research center
On a tight budget and even tighter timeframe, DVmobile 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 Hagelin, Senior Transportation Planner for the City of Boulder, Colorado

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

DVmobile 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.

panoramic-view city-of-boulder person biking trail


WHO: Local Government Transportation Department

city-of-boulder colorado logo technologies-used

CHALLENGE: 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.

SOLUTION: 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.

IMPACT: 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.


  • Inception
  • Design
  • Development
  • Maintenance



  • 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.


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:

City of Boulder's website

NRC's website

Latest Survey's landing page

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.



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. 

dashboard showing map routes
people riding bus
highway 36 cars commuting boulder
bicycle bike b-cycle park station

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.


  • Apache Cordova
  • DVblueprint Epic
  • Test Driven Development (TDD)
  • Jenkins
  • HTML5 / CSS3
  • JavaScript
  • bootstrap 4
  • D3.js

colorado company

SmartSurveys are Colorado Designed™ software

DVmobile is a Colorado Company™


Our partnership with the City of Boulder Department of Transportation is one of the best examples of our involvement in the community and the impact we can have in quality of life and sustainability efforts. 

Contact us to know more about how DVmobile can partner with you to design a Smart Survey.

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