Monthly Archives: August 2013

Announcement of Smap Release August 2013

This release includes:

  1. The name of the logged on user will now be shown in the top right of the template management screen. If you click on this name you can change your details and your password.  You can also logout of the server.
  2. A change in the appearance of the “upload template” section of template management.  The big button now downloads the spreadsheet instead of opening odkBuild.  The link to odkBuild has been moved further down the screen.
  3. Performance improvements when multiple users are updating the dashboard using the same user name.
  4. When exporting surveys to a spreadsheet, you can now select which repeating groups to export and flatten individual repeating groups so that their data appears in a single row.  More on this here.  You can also specify that the GPS coordinates of a point be split into two columns for latitude and longitude.  This may assist when importing the survey into some GIS tools.


Assign a task and export the results to Openstreetmap

This article demonstrates how to assign a task that will tell a user what data to collect and where to collect it.  The data will replace previously collected data and will then be loaded into Openstreetmap. An ODK compatible tool called fieldTask will be used.

Step 1. Create one or more tasks for someone to go and update the previously collected data.  This is done with the “Create Task” function in Smap. In this case I selected the previous address survey as the starting point and checked “Update existing results” which means that the old results will be replaced by the new. After creating the tasks they show up as red lines on the map on the “Assign” page. Red meaning “not yet allocated to anyone”.

assign task

Step 2. Assign the task. I assigned the longer survey containing odd addresses to myself.

Step 3. Download the task to the phone. On my phone I selected Menu then “Refresh Task List” which downloads the task and displays it in the task list and task map.

Step 4. Collect the new data. When I got to the location shown on the map I opened the survey and proceeded to record the missing addresses.

complete odk type survey in fieldTask

Step 5. Upload the results. After submitting the results, the dashboard shows that there are still two “good” records of address data, record 1 having been replaced by record 3.

Survey Analysis - Existing Record Replaced by new Record

I then exported the results in OSM format. This time I did not select any “ways” to be generated as I just wanted the address points. In JOSM I deleted the old address points that include an interpolation way, slightly adjusted the locations using Bing imagery and uploaded to the server. Click here to view the new addresses in Openstreetmap.

This technique could be useful during a response to a rapid onset emergency although it is unlikely that odk type surveys would be used to collect data that is loaded unchanged into Openstreetmap as it was here.  Instead there might be a need to take a subset of a complex survey and load only the tags relevant to OSM.  This would either be quite intensive manual work in JOSM or a filtering and transformation function could be added to the OSM export.

Testing a long survey

When creating long surveys for fieldTask you may want to try out a newly created, or modified section, that is a long way from the start. Its time consuming having to swipe past a lot of early questions and even worse if these have been set as “required”.  To quickly get to the right section you can use the “Go To Prompt” feature. Figure 1.

Start the survey in fieldTask or, odkCollect, select “menu” then “Go To Prompt”. A list of questions will be displayed which you can scroll through to find the question you want.

If you have repeating groups in your survey then this list of questions will initially stop at the repeat group.  To go further press on the downward arrow at the left of the repeat group name. Figure 2.



Figure 3

Then press on the name that will appear at the bottom of the screen. The questions in the repeating group will be shown and you can continue to scroll down to find the section that you want to test.