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Article ID: KB180
Keyword Name: Mobile Base Camp, Mobile, Canvass, Canvassing, Walking, Walk List, Ground Game, App, Web, Device
Created: October 22, 2020
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[Retired Article] Mobile Base Camp - How to Create and Run a Mobile Canvassing (Walk) List

Important: This article is retired and the process has moved from our (old) web app canvassing tool to the new native iOS / Android app.

This updated article walks through the steps:

Click Here to view this article as a PDF.

Author: Kristenson, Joel

Last Updated: 2016-10-06


This article walks through the steps to create a mobile canvassing list, setup users with security access to be ‘canvassers’ on their smart phones, create the canvassing questions to ask, and how to analyze the data within the database as voters are canvassed.  If you prefer paper walk lists, or maybe you have a need for both, this article shows how to complete this task in that fashion.

Note:  Trail Blazer developer Patrick Hanf created the mobile canvassing app in 2012; he coded using the “html flow” technique allowing you to access the app on any mobile device, and post the data collected back to the your database.  It does require you have a steady internet/cell connection to use the app. Use the Ctrl+F hot key to jump to different sections of this article (example: “#1”, “#2” or “Related Resources”.


#1 – How to Create your Canvassing Script (Questions) in the Database

#2 – How to Create Users with Access to Mobile Base Camp (Canvassing on their Phone)

#3 – Constructing a Search Query to Target Voters for your Canvassing List, Selecting which Script to Use, and Assigning the List to Users

#4 – Running the Canvassing ‘App’ On your Mobile Device

#5 – Searching and Analyzing the Canvassing Results in your Database

#6 – Related Resources

#1 – How to Create your Canvassing Script (Questions) in the Database

You’ll create attributes as the canvassing questions.  Some ideas for questions are:

- Do you support my candidate/Not support/Undecided?

- Do you want to volunteer?

- Do you want a yard sign?

- Voter not home

- Voter refused to answer

- List issues that you’re concerned with for this election season (war/economy/global warming/etc.)

To begin adding your own attributes (questions) navigate to the Contacts (Voters) list under the Application Menu.

Navigate the Attribute tab, right-click on the Attributes folder and select ‘Insert Folder’.

Create a name for your attribute folder (canvassing script) and click [OK]In my example I called mine “Mobile Canvassing Questions – Script No1”.

Once the folder is created locate it in your attribute tree, right-click on it, and select ‘Insert item (attribute)…’. You can have as many sub-folders in your main canvasing folder if you want to categorize the different types of questions you’ll be asking.  For instance you could have different lawn sign sizes in one folder, and another one that lists the issues people may be concerned with this for this election season.

Create the different attribute items (questions) and click [OK] once you’re finished.  You can check the box on the input form to keep it open if you’ll be entering multiple items in one sitting.  My example is below.

Once you’ve entered everything you’ll actually click [Cancel] or the red [x] in the upper-right (if you’re entering multiple attribute items at once).  The image below provides details.

My finished example is below.  You can always come back to this area in the future and make changes such as deleting, adding, renaming, and moving attributes within your new canvassing folder.

Once you’re finished creating the attribute folders/sub-folders/items, right-click on the top-most folder for your canvassing script and select ‘Properties’.

Check the box that says ‘This attribute folder contains a script for the mobile canvassing application’, and click [Save]. If you want to change the order that your questions show up on the mobile canvassing app you right click-each attribute (question), select properties, check the box for ‘Display on web site’ which will activate the ‘Display Sequence’ field.  This can be very useful if you want the canvassers to ask questions in a certain sequence, here’s an example:

Img 1 of 2 – Right-click the Attribute Item (Question) and Select ‘Properties …’.

Img 2 of 2 – Check the Box to ‘Display on web site’ and Provide a Sequence ID

You’re now finished creating the canvassing script, the next section shows how to create users with access to the mobile canvassing site.

Important: As of the time this article was written you’ll need to close out of the Contacts (Voters) list, and reopen it, before you can use your new canvassing folder as a script (otherwise it won’t display in your script drop-down in the upcoming steps).

#2 – How to Create Users with Access to Mobile Base Camp (Canvassing on their Phone)

Navigate to the Contacts (Voters) list.

Search for the contact you want to setup as a mobile canvasser, typically by Last Name and First Name.  If they aren’t in your database you’ll need to add them as a new user.  In my example I searched for someone named Sam Oakley who at the time was not in my database.

If the contact is in your database click on their name to open their record, otherwise click the [+ New] button on the search tool stripIn my example I needed to add them in as a new contact record.

Once the record card is open navigate to the Admin > Logon area, check the box for ‘Allow Windows-based Access’, create a User ID & Password, and then click [Save].

Navigate to the Attributes (sub-tab), expand the Security attribute tree, and check all the boxes under the Voter folders ‘Activities’ and ‘Data’My example is below.

[Save and Close] their record and you’re finished.  You or the new user can test logging it on the Mobile Base Camp web app site (  In my example it the site was

NOTE: This is what it would look like on a smartphone (any smart phone with internet access and a web browser):

This is what it should look like if the login is successful:

NOTE: This is what it would like on a smartphone (any smart phone with internet access and a web browser):

You’ll return to this area in a later section of this article when you’re ready to actually run the mobile walk list.  The next section shows how to target a list of voters to canvass, select the canvassing script to use, and how to assign it to your user(s). This article will show you some very useful tips and tricks on how to effectively use Mobile Base Camp on your different devices.  Specifically, how to keep the screen on longer, and how to add shortcuts to your home screen for quick launching of the web app.

#3 – Constructing a Search Query to Target Voters for your Canvassing List, Selecting the Script, and Assigning the List to Users

First you’ll need to decide with your campaign team what type of voters (gender/age/party/ethnicity/etc.) you want to target as well as where they live (district/precinct/ward/county/city/zip/etc.).

Navigate to the Contacts (Voters) list.

Build and run your search queryIn my example I went after all voters who lived in a particular (small) precinct, who voted in the last general election which gave me 16 results.  It’s not a bad idea at all to save the search as a favorite query for future use (covered in section #5) so that you don’t need to rebuild it when you’re analyzing the canvassing results.

Select File > Communications > Create Canvassing List …

Create a name for the canvassing list, choose who to assign it to, select your script from the drop-down (created in section #1), as well as any other options you want to configure.  Typically you will set the status to ‘Open’ unless you plan on ‘opening’ up the canvassing list at a future point.

Once you’re finished click [OK].  My example is below for my canvassing list called “8/26/16 – Golden Valley Precinct 1”.

You’ll get a popup message once the process is complete.  Click [OK].

That completes the steps to create and assign a canvassing list to your door-knockers.  *If you have access, you can now go view the canvassing lists you’ve created by following Application Menu > Canvassing > Canvassing Lists and clicking [Search].

The next section shows how the canvassing list is run on the mobile web app and how to view the data in real-time within the database.

#4 – Running the Canvassing ‘App’ On your Mobile Device

Log into Mobile Base Camp on your mobile device (  You’ll replace ‘YourDatabaseName’ with your org’s db name, in my example it was

This will show all of the canvassing lists assigned to this user.  In my example there was one list assigned to my login, with 16 voters in the canvassing list.

You can filter the list by street by typing all or part of the street you are walking down.  In my example I started with ‘Golden Valley Rd’.

Tap on the address where you want to canvass the voter(s).  In my example it was 3109 Golden Valley Rd that had 1 voter living there.

Note: If there’s more than one voter living at the address you have the option to canvass each one individually or canvass the entire household at once.  In my example it was just a single voter by the name of Steven Scarrow.

The 2 screenshots below show the details of what you can do within a voter’s record card while you’re using the mobile canvassing app.  Check off the boxes for the questions you’re asking, collect their contact info if you want, record a log not (comment), and save once you’re finished.

Img 1 of 2 – Top-Half of an Example Voter Record in the PinPoint Canvassing App

Img 2 of 2 – Bottom-Half of an Example Voter Record in the PinPoint Canvassing App

NOTE: This is what it would like on a smart phone (any smart phone device with internet access and a browser):

After you save the results the record in the list will turn slightly yellow and display a checkbox on the left, my example is below.

Continue these steps until all voters have been canvassed.  The list will look like the one below once you’re finished.

You can then return to the main ‘canvassing lists’ screen to verify all voters have been canvassed:

The final section of this article will show how to provide a database user access to the canvassing list in the backend database and how to view the results as they’re collected in real-time.

#5 – Searching and Analyzing the Canvassing Results in your Database

Log into the backend database.

Important: It’s a requirement that you have the ‘Allow Mass Updates’ security clearance in order to access the canvassing list:

Under the Application Menu navigate to the Canvassing Lists, and click [Search]In my example I had 1 list as shown below.

Click on the ‘Description’ link to open the canvassing list.

Once the list is open you can do all kinds of things (shown below) such as:

- Delete the list of nobody has been canvassed

- Change the script

- Modify who the list is assigned to

- Change the status (open/closed)

To view the canvassing results and get totals navigate to the Contacts tab, click on the [Format] drop-down menu, and select Columns.

Navigate to the Attributes tab, under the ‘Setting’ column check all of the attributes that were in your ‘Canvassing Script’ folder, and then click [OK].  The entire set of attributes (questions/answers) will be added to the grid as columns.  My example is below.

Scroll to the far right of the grid where your canvassing results will now display with totals at the bottom.  My example is below.

If you want you can save the format for future use and assign it as the default for your (or all users) so that the results always display when this specific canvassing list is opened in the future.  You can also export the results to a spreadsheet and/or print them using the buttons on the tool strip.

The related resources below will teach a lot more about canvassing, formatting, poll watching, and other related topics.  Give us a call if you have any trouble getting your canvassing lists setup and running (1-866-909-8700).

Related Resources

Article: Tips and Tricks for using Mobile Base Camp - Add Shortcuts to your Home Screen, Adjust Device Settings to Keep the Screen on, and More

Article: How to Setup and Use the Mobile Poll Watching App

Article: How to Merge Attributes

Article: Adding a Database User and Setting Security Settings

Article: Add Attributes, Attribute Dates, and Attribute Notes to the Grid by Formatting them in as Columns

Article: Walk List – Selectable Format

Article: “I Can’t See my Attribute Checkboxes” – How to Adjust the DPI Resolution of your Machine so that Checkboxes Display Correctly

Article: How to Create Attribute Folders and Attribute Items (Custom Categories)

Article: Save and Load a Search Query as a (Dynamic) Search Favorite

Article: Election Day Procedures | Poll Watchers

Article: Polling – How to Setup and Run a Poll – Inside your Trail Blazer Database

Video: Canvass Your Neighborhood With Our Mobile Canvassing App

Video: Reporting 101 – Political – Contribution reports & Walk Lists

Video: Walk Lists – Using Format Display

Video: Mappoint – Select Houses to Walk by Drawing

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