Open Data Kit (ODK) is a suite of tools that allows data collection using mobile devices and data submission to an online server, even without an Internet connection or mobile carrier service at the time of data collection. You can collect data remotely without an Internet connection or cell carrier access. Gather text, numeric data, media and more with a mobile device. Then, host your data online using Google's powerful hosting platform, Google AppEngine, and visualize your data as a map using Google Fusion Tables and Google Earth.
Created by developers at the University of Washington's Computer Science and Engineering department and members of Change, Open Data Kit is an open-source project available to all. Please visit their ODK project page for more information, recent updates, more tutorials, and to contribute to the project.
This data was collected in the field using Open Data Kit. The data is stored in a Fusion Table and displayed in Google Earth.
In this exercise, we will use a sample form to demonstrate the most common kinds of data you can collect with Open Data Kit and and display with Google Fusion Tables and Google Earth. You can get the sample form on your mobile device by following the instructions in the previous tutorial, Manage Your Data with ODK Aggregate.
In the previous tutorials, you learned how to send your form submissions to our instance, or your own instance, of ODK Aggregate. To see the data you added to the form, go to http://odk-tutorial.appspot.com and login using your Google Account.
For this tutorial, we will use the data that's been previously collected and uploaded to http://odk-tutorial.appspot.com. The dataset will continuously be added to as more people take this tutorial and add more data. If you upload data to this server, please note that the server has been made public so please don't upload material you don't want others to view. If you collected data using your own AppEngine instance in the last tutorial, feel free to follow along accordingly.
ODK Aggregate provides an automatic link to a table that you've created with Google Fusion Tables. Fusion Tables allows you to upload different datasets, merge your datasets, quickly and easily visualize your dataset on a map, and query your data. You can also collaborate with others on your data and set different permissions levels for different users. The mapping functionality of Fusion Tables is covered in more depth in three other tutorials: Map sample data with Fusion Mapper, Map your own data with Fusion Mapper, and Sharing a map from Fusion Mapper.
TIP: If you would like to have photos appear alongside your data submissions on the map, you can do so by using the "Configure Info Window" link at the top of the "Map" view. Learn how to customize pop-up balloons in Google Fusion Tables.
You can also view your data in Google Earth. This is a good alternative to viewing your data in Fusion Tables if you want to add more information to enhance your map, such as points, lines and polygons to better tell the story about your data.
Tip: If you would like to create a connection between your data in Google Fusion Tables and Google Earth, you can do so using a Network Link. First, you must have opted to create an external service connection from ODK Aggregate to Fusion Tables, selecting "BOTH Upload Existing & Steam New Submission Data." Then, learn how to create a dynamic link from your Google Fusion Tables dataset to Google Earth.
Tip: Once you have imported your data into Google Earth, you can add additional points, lines and polygons to tell a story about your field data collection results. Learn how to Annotate Google Earth.
If there is historical imagery available for the region you are working in, you can see the changes over time. Learn more about historical imagery in Google Earth.
You can also use Google Earth to create a narrated tour to tell the story about the region you are collecting data about, the purpose and goals of your data collection, and the conditions in the field. Learn more about creating narrated tours in Google Earth.
Congratulations! You have learned how to visualize the data you've collected in the field with Open Data Kit on a map.
Have questions about this tutorial? Want to give us some feedback? Visit the Google Earth Outreach Discussion Group to discuss it with others.