Using pull data to pull pictures from previously collected form to a new form

Greetings from Syria;

For the past few days I have been struggling with an Idea I would like to perform in Kobo.

Basically, we completed the assessment phase for our shelter projects in 2020 using kobo, and during the assessment our partners were supposed to take at least 5 pictures for each housing unit they assess.

Now I am building the monitoring form, the first question in this form is “Select the beneficiary code” and then kobo will pull few information from the assessment form and show it in the monitoring form “partner name, location, vulnerability score… etc”.

My question is, is there any way that I can pull the picture for the house and display them in the monitoring form?

So basically, once we choose the beneficiary code, kobo will display the information I mentioned above as well as the picture of the housing unit.

Thank in advance

Welcome back, it has been a while.

Hypothetically speaking this is possible if you do the following

  1. I am sure based on your response you are familiar with pull data functionality which you are going to apply here. Just in case you are not familiar have a look at the following article.
  • You can pull the picture within a select one question where once the beneficiary code has been entered, a specific response for a select one can be pulled which would be the name of the picture. In my example below I have assumed that you will want to add the five pictures at once. So ensure that your CSV has a column for each picture that way all the picture labels are pulled

  • On the choices for the select_one question, you can have the response item with accompanying media file as shown below. Please note that the name on your CSV file should match the name on the name column B below. In essence, each column of pictures should follow this rule so that when pulling the same they are accompanied with associated images.
  • The final step would be to ensure that the images exist within the form. You have two options to do this,
    a. Upload all the media files as you upload your CSV (too cumbersome) but this will be the solution if you have no access to the media files. This would be the normal process of upload.
    b. To upload the forms directly to the data collection device if you are using the collect application. You need to find the folder that has the media for the specific monitoring form and copy all the media files to it. Please note that you can also use a folder sync application to push the files to this folder. [These are workarounds since I am considering that you probably have thousands of household pictures). Note using folder sync always is better since you are able to manage which pictures are sent regardless of the form without the need for re-deployment every time). Unfortunately, this is not a support we provide and you can easily post any further support on this on the job site.

Hope this will help clarify



thank you so much for this comprehesive answe, i will try this and write back to you.
and as you mentioned, I have thousands of pics, and I don’t know how to use folder syc, is there any reference you recommend me to read ??


Hi @Naeim
We do not support this but I suggest having a read on the following example.


Dear @stephanealoo

I tried what you suggested step by step, but kobo is showing me all the pictures for all the beneficiaries, not just the the one I entered in the “beneficiary code” question, I uploaded the xml file.
Please advice.pulldatav3.xlsx (12.3 KB)

dear @stephanealoo
I worded out this issue, I used calcuation and note type of question instead of select_one. the file attached.
thank you so much for giving me insight into this :slight_smile:pulldatav7.xlsx (11.4 KB)


Hi Naeim,
Glad to know it worked for you. I would like to also indicate that select_one would have worked if you named your choices properly, i.e. Photo1 Photo2 etc

list_name name label media::image
pictures GHDL101_1.jpg pic1 GHDL101_1.jpg
pictures GHDL101_2.jpg pic2 GHDL101_2.jpg
pictures GHDL101_3.jpg pic3 GHDL101_3.jpg
pictures GHDL101_4.jpg pic4 GHDL101_4.jpg
pictures GHDL101_5.jpg pic5 GHDL101_5.jpg
pictures GEN117_1.jpg pic6 GEN117_1.jpg
pictures GEN117_2.jpg pic7 GEN117_2.jpg
pictures GEN117_3.jpg pic8 GEN117_3.jpg
pictures GEN117_4.jpg pic9 GEN117_4.jpg
pictures GEN117_5.jpg pic10 GEN117_5.jpg

Instead of GenX as shown above.


1 Like

dear @stephanealoo can you please help me with one more thing
can I upload Excel files (the same way I uploaded the pictures) and then create a hyperlink (or whatever) so once clicked the excel file will be downloaded to the mobile phone ?
because I Have an excel file for each beneficiary (BOQ file which indicate what the household needs for rehabilitation) and this file has alot of mesurments and number, so can I upload those file to kobo server and then create a link that once clicked the file will be downloaded to the phone and the engineers in the field can read the file

Hi @Naeim
Essentially yes you can add the excel file directly.


1 Like