Monthly Archives: October 2013

Assessment Reports for Speed Evidence

The Speed Evidence project has released a video showing the features of the Information Management Portal. This is looking really good.

However up until today media files such as pictures that were included in a table of data or a map were not being copied across into the report shown by the portal. The Speed Evidence portal pulls assessment reports from the Smap Server using the reports API. These reports consist of a graph, map, table, picture, video or audio file that have been collected using the Smap Mobile Phone tools.   The report contents have to be copied into a report location on the server so that they can be accessed using the report identifier rather than a user name and password.  This report identifier will look something like this “293ffa7b-70j7-4dc0-gb4a-57fcb45a20a3” and uniquely identifies the report.

This issue has now been fixed. When a report is created now all the media files that are included in tables and maps are copied over to the reports area and assigned the report identifier. You can see this in the example report below which is a table of data containing pictures grouped by the nationality of the respondent.


Release of Smap HTML / iPhone Evaluation Tools

Announcing Smap Evaluation Tools Server version 13.09.  New functionality includes:

  1. Support for completing surveys on a web browser. Browsers need to support HTML5 and can be on a laptop, iPhone, Android or Windows Mobile .
  2. Automatic dropping of duplicate surveys.  Previously the duplicate would have been marked as “bad” so that it did not appear in exported results or graphs however these duplicates could still be seen in table views.
  3. Calculate questions are now shown in the exported spreadsheet in their correct position relative to other questions in the survey.  So if you add a question to calculate the age in months after a date of birth question, then age in months will appear after DOB in the exported results.
  4. If you explicitly specify a “start time”, “end time” or IMEI question in your survey then these are no longer automatically added by Smap as well

WebForm Evaluation Tool


Screen shot of web form in Chrome browser on a  Mac laptop


  • Uses the open source Enketo forms engine
  • (Should) work in any HTML5 capable browser
  • GPS coordinates
  • Multi- choice and single select questions
  • Integer and text questions
  • Uploading of photographs (on some browsers, those with better HTML5 support)
  • Repeating groups
  • Relevance
  • Works offline and saves results for submission later when there is a network connection


The web forms feature is really a beta release so you can expect to find some issues.  Report any you find and we will try to get them fixed in the next release.  Known issues include:

  1. Some odk 1.4 functions that depend on javarosa do not work.  For example the new date time functions.
  2. Surveys that have images in their questions or options will not work with webForms
  3. Large surveys may be slow particularly when downloading or expanding a conditional group
  4. Safari on iPhone has some additional restrictions:
  • File uploads are not supported on Safari / iPhone
  • Expansion of conditional groups that are made relevant based on responses to prior questions do not work

Phone Browsers


Situation Assessment using Safari on an iPhone


Situation Assessment using Chrome on Android








Applications for the web forms feature

The ability to complete forms on web browsers adds a lot of flexibility to your data collection. For example it is now possible to send out an email or tweet with a link to a survey that the recipient can complete on their browser.


This is straightforward and very similar to previous installation.  Updated instructions are in the README file.  If you have an existing smap installation you should be able to just run the webformsInstall script to update the platform to support webForms (MySQL and PHP).  You can then deploy the updated application code as before.  Contact me if you have any issues.

If you are installing your own server you can get it from here.

Deployment onto Smap Managed Servers

I will progressively deploy this release onto the servers managed by Smap Consulting over the next few days.  However the ability to complete surveys using WebForms may not suit everyone.  Hence I will disable this functionality by default on each server unless you request that it be switched on.


Web Forms uses the excellent Enketo toolkit. This toolkit has been integrated into Smap by the following undergraduate students from RMIT who have done an excellent job.

  • HeeSien Ooi
  • Kar Ming Clement Kam
  • Kiman Sze
  • Mohamad Bahaa Maarouf
  • Shishir Chawla
  • Teck We Kee


Release of fieldTask v3.0

Announcing fieldTask version 3.0. This release includes the changes in the odkCollect 1.4 release (thanks to the ODK team) along with the ability to send partially completed forms back to the server. You can download version 3 from google play and from the smap development server. It will be deployed onto other servers as they get upgraded.


fieldTask v3.0 Home Screen

1) Change Location. [Provided by ODK 1.4] There is a new ‘placement-map’ appearance for location questions.  If you use this “appearance” setting on a question of type “geopoint” then your current location will be shown on a map and you can do a long press on the map to change the position that will be recorded. The meaning of the 4 icons on the map is:

        1. Exit map without saving location
        2. Save location and exit map
        3. Place marker at current location
        4. Zoom to marker

location placement

2) New functions for date processing. [Provided by ODK1.4] Refer to the survey editing guideline and the example xls template.

3) Improved styling for phones with Android 3+. These will show an action bar with icons for some of the menu options. On smaller phones only one or two of the icons will be shown, the other menu options are accessible though the menu button.


Android 2.2 phone menu showing all the icons. Android 3+ phones will show some icons on title bar, remaining menu options will be text when accessed through menu.

4) Access to question responses within repeating groups. [Provided by ODK 1.4].  This allows you to create one repeating group to get all the names of people in a household, then in a second repeating group you can ask detailed questions about each member of the household and refer to the name recorded for that householder. Refer to survey editing guideline and the example xls template.

5) Ability to defer constraint and “required” validation to the end of the survey. [Provided by ODK 1.4]. This can be enabled in the settings.

6) Sending partially completed forms back to the server.  If you have to save a survey half way through because it cannot be completed you can optionally send those results to the server.  After selecting “submit finished data” from the menu, press the menu button again and select “change view”. This will have two options “Show Complete Forms” and “Show Complete and Incomplete Forms”.  If you select the second option you will be able to see the saved incomplete forms and send them back to the server.

There will be an update to the server released by the 18th of October that will mark these incomplete surveys as “bad” with a reason of “incomplete”.  Hence they will not be included in exported spreadsheets or graphs unless the analyst marks them as “good”. If it is critical for you not to allow incomplete forms to be sent until the server is updated to mark them as bad by default, then defer use of fieldTask 3.0 until after the 18th of October.