GPS collection in the background through "audit" not supported anymore

Previously, I was able to collect GPS location metadata by adding to the XLS form a row: “audit” with parameters “location-priority=balanced location-min-interval=60-max-age=120”. Consequently, KoBo showed an error but the form could still be deployed to collect GPS data by populating the survey link.

Since a more recent, this is recognized as “audit” metadata question but GPS data is not collected anymore. This is a problem, because we need to collect GPS in the background as metadata (not as active question), obviously with informing respondents about this.

Can anyone help with enabling again the background GPS data collection? It is a center piece of our study.

Thanks a lot!

Hi @weilenmann,

Welcome to the community! Would you mind trying this under the parameter and see if it works at your end:

location-priority=high-accuracy location-min-interval=180 location-max-age=300

I just tested the same at my end and it worked for me.

For those who have not tested the same, you could do the same as outlined below:

In the survey tab of your xlsform:

Reference xlsform:

GPS Metadata Test 2020 07 31.xlsx (9.5 KB)

To check the data, you will need to download the data as outlined in the image below:

Have a great day!

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Hi @Kal_Lam
Thanks so much for taking this on! You were right that with this parameters, KoBo is lets the survey being redeployed - thanks.

The survey still does not collect the metadata. I have attached a screenshot of the data table (zip download gives me an empty file) as well as the XLS. Any hint how to go about this?

Thanks in advance!
no audit data

Hi @weilenmann,

What did you collect your data with (KoBoCollect android app or Enketo)? Try using the latest release of the KoBoCollect android app and it should work as expected.

Have a great day!

So, it was just a syntax error in your parameter cell.
You could have seen the hint for it in Preview

or with XLSForm online (

Maybe the title of your topic could be corrected now (to avoid confusing other users)?

Hi @Kal_Lam,

I am administering the survey with a link (through a facebook chatbot), so I guess that means Enketo. We will not have any in-person data collectors, so I can’t really use the KoBoCollect android app. Maybe this is the issue?

Re @wroos I am not sure there was a syntax error but thanks for suggesting odk

YOUR syntax was parameters:
“location-priority=balanced location-min-interval=60-max-age=120”.
A CORRECT syntax (see @Kal_Lam) was
location-priority=high-accuracy location-min-interval=180 location-max-age=300
That is what also was in the error hints (of preview and syntax check with XLSForms Online.


@wroos , the initial message had a typo, see this screenshot with the correct syntax - still the webform does not collect GPS :confused:

Hi @weilenmann,

I don’t think it works with Enketo.

Have a great day!

That is the puzzling part - I piloted it in May and then it worked with Enketo. Do you have any input/idea how to get around this issue?

Hi @weilenmann,

Was it the GPS data that you had collected or was it the metadata that you had collected (and tested)?

Have a great day!

Dear @Kal_Lam

I has used the same mechanism, adding an audit row into the XLS form. The function worked and collected GPS through Enketo on 7 March 2020.

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Hi @weilenmann,

Thank you for updating this! Would you also mind letting us know the server you used at that moment so that it would be easy for us to track down the development that has undergone by now.

It would be very helpful if you could provide us with one additional information … could you share with us the syntax you used then. Maybe it would be helpful if you could share with us the xlsform with the metadata question for the GPS.

Have a great day!

When working off the facebook chatbox, I assume it triggers the web browser to use Enketo to collect the data. One thing you should note, is that the device may have its own settings that prevents browsers from collecting background GPS coordinates. Since this may be the case, the users may not be able to collect that information if they had this blocked.


1 Like

Hi @Kal_Lam,
Thanks that your are willing to have a look! As a new user, I cannot share the XLS here but if you write me an email on, I will gladly send it to you! I can also share the survey project with you, if you give me your user name. If neither of the two works for you, below I copy pasted everything.

Have a good day as well!

Hi @weilenmann,

Kindly please be informed that you should now be able to share attachments within the forum. If it’s possible and you wish to share would you try sharing with me the following (through a private message) so that we could have a closer look at our end:

  • Username
  • Project name (that has audit gps data collected automatically via Enketo)

You could send private message as discussed here.

Have a great day!

Hi @weilenmann,

I just scanned the project that you had referred (through the private message). Did not see the metadata for GPS. Could you kindly share with me the name of the project which you were able to collect GPS data as metadata (using Enketo) so that we could refer to your project that it used to work previously and does not work at the moment.

Have a great day!