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News — 01 February, 2016

Geo Data Collect: Mobile Data Collection and Tracking

Smartphone is everywhere. In Indonesia alone, it is estimated in 2015 that there are around 55 million of smartphone users, the third highest number in Asia Pacific. To tap into this huge potential, HOT Indonesia with the support from Australia-Indonesia Facilities for Disaster Reduction have started developed Android app for mobile data collection back in 2014. It was started by developing the concept notes for the application based on HOT Indonesia experience in delivering training throughout Indonesia.

Based on our experiences, it is concluded that there are two feature that is important during field data collection, object-related information and GPS tracks. Regularly, object related information was written in a table with list of object in a paper. Yet this method have couple of shortcomings, such as how the number of object and its information are limited by the space on the paper. For Android, there is an application called OpenDataKit (ODK) Collect, which is widely used as a powerful yet simple survey tool. The survey admin can create the survey form, put it in the server and then all the surveyor can use ODK Collect app in their smartphone to download the blank form, fill it in and upload the form as much as they like. The second feature, to record GPS track, is also important to map the road network while the survey underway. Usually we use OSMTracker for Android to capture GPS tracks since it can record and export GPS track into OSM easily. Using this application we can also record waypoint with OSM tags, unfortunately the option is pretty limited. 

Therefore, HOT Indonesia developed an app which combined ODK Collect and OSM Tracker features called Geo Data Collect. This application was developed by integrating OSM Tracker code into ODK Collect. Several adjustment needs to be made to provide an easy to use user interface. We also developed basic backend for this app to upload the survey form and download all the response form. Without further intro, feel free to try Geo Data Collect yourself or join us in improving the code.