Why geographic data is not stored as WKT?


I am learning about the whole KoBoToolbox. I think it’s awesome!

Although, I do not really understand the reason why geodata like point, area/Polygon or line/LineString are internally stored in that format, as a sequence of points like “latitude longitude elevation accuracy”, which I think it’s exclusively used by ODK and is not widely understood by other software.

I realized, for example, areas/polygons cannot be load directly in a leaflet map because of its ODK’s geoshape format. Instead it yields The map is not available because this form does not have a “geopoint” field.

I really believe it would be the best choice to store it in the database in a standard and well-known format, i.e. WKT, as PostgreSQL+PostGIS does. This would have many benefits, included some robust free opensource tools to manipulate easily, for exporting to KML, SHP, GeoJSON or to load it directly to a leaflet map layer.

I understand this must have its history, design and implementation decisions involved, may be this is inherited from previous projects… Anyway, this is just a suggestion.


1 Like

Hi @santipesta,

Thank you for providing us with your valuable suggestions. It seems interesting. Could you be kind enough to describe a bit more about WKT format (how it looks like, how the users should benefit from the same over the existing Lat/Long format and more).

Also kindly please be informed that KoBoToolbox supports exporting geopoint data as KML format. For details, you could also have a look at our support article Exporting and Downloading Your Data.

Have a great day!