Add geolocation metadata to forms

What is the general goal of the feature?
For admins to track where data collectors are located when they fill forms.

What are the most likely user stories for how and when this would be used by someone on your team?
Admins would be able to verify where the data was actually collected

Can you sketch out graphically how you think this should look/work in practice?
In the form settings, a new checkbox would be added to the list of metadata that can be collected. On the mobile app, the data collector would be asked to turn GPS on when starting to fill a form. I’m not sure how to best present the metadata in the repository, but there should be a way of visualizing it on the map.

How useful would this feature be to other users or organizations?
It would be useful to anyone who need to check the geolocation of the data collectors as an added layer of verifiability for the data

What can you contribute to making this feature a reality?
Feedback, UI, testing

Nice to have @raph. Another great feature would be alerts/notification inform of broadcast messages to everyone on the field using the platform.

This would be an excellent addition to metadata. Since, I am already using the Geo-location question at the start of many of my forms for verifiability of data. and I generally make the geolocation query as mandatory in order for the enumerator to fill the form and submit.

Adding to metadata would eliminate the need for me to create a question. However, please ensure that unless the enumerator switches on the GPS on his device, any form that requires geolocation should not get submitted.

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Please take a look at the new audit log location tracking feature that has been added to latest ODK Collect:

It was added pretty much for this exact purpose.

Please also note there may be regional regulations around geotracking ‘employees’ that you need to comply with, depending on where this is being deployed. Eg EU’s GDPR regulations that came into effect in 2018 cover privacy issues relating to data collection, including gps tracking. Which is to say, carte blanc performing such gps tracking - especially without individuals’ knowledge and consent - isn’t necessarily a given.


That ODK feature looks perfect!
Do you know if there are plans to integrate support for that in Kobo?

That would probably be best answered by the likes of @tinok , @mike.destaubin

Actually, I would go further that just metadata. You can see below all the metadata captured by our ODK-compliant Tella app. The level of verifiability would be greatly increased if we could include all of those. And of those, @Xiphware mentioned, users would be able to opt-out of metadata gathering to respect their consent and GDPR-like regulations.

FYI if you would like to see more metadata captured by Collect, feel free to open a feature request at . Please remember to read the guidelines first; specifically the last one…

What can you contribute to making this feature happen?


Yep, I realized this was more of an ODK request than KoBo! I added the request here

What can you contribute to making this feature happen?

We’re already working on the mobile client side :slight_smile:

Looks like a few questions to answer:

  1. Does KoBoCollect support everything in ODK Collect? No: KoBoCollect is a fork of ODK Collect, and it is updated much less frequently. KoBoToolbox power users should almost always bypass KoBoCollect entirely and use ODK Collect.
  2. Is KoBoToolbox fully compatible with ODK Collect? Yes, we should be. It’s possible, of course, for ODK Collect to release a new feature that we do not support, and if that happens, we’ll have to address on a case-by-case basis.
  3. Can people use “audit log location tracking” with KoBoToolbox? Probably. Even if we don’t have a graphical checkbox in our form builder to enable something like that, anything that’s valid XLSForm should be supported by KoBoToolbox. Also KoBoToolbox will store anything that a client includes with a submission, even an unexpected file attachment or a response to a question that does not exist in the form. We’ve already tested and documented audit logging in ODK Collect (minus the location tracking part).
  4. Can the metadata captured by the “ODK-compliant Tella app” be recorded by KoBoToolbox? Probably! If the metadata is included as part of the submission XML or as a file attachment, KoBoToolbox will dutifully record it. That doesn’t mean, however, that we have an interface to parse, display, or make sense of it. Someone would need to export the data from KoBoToolbox and use their own means to analyze them, or—even better(!)—contribute to a new KoBoToolbox analysis feature.