Recently I was asked to design a mobile based data collection and management system to collect data of sugarcane growers in Pakistan. The objective was to develop a data collection and management system which can be used to collect data from sugar cane growers using android based devices. The collected data required to contain text, numeric and pictures along with geographic shapes (polygons) of the sugarcane fields.
The field enumerators were expected to have low education level so it was desired to make the mobile data collection as intuitive and user friendly as possible. The weather and field conditions were tough requiring considerations.
The collected data was to be audited by supervisors through a web interface where they wanted to view and verify the collected data as well as the location, shape and size of sugarcane field. They wanted to view the polygon of sugarcane filed overlaid on satellite image with the ability to modify coordinates of polygon shape.
Additionally, it was required to have some mechanism in which existing data of sugarcane growers is made available on mobile data collection devices so that enumerator does not need to fill in all data fields. Instead they can simply verify if the existing data was correct.
Form Design with Preloaded data:
We decided to base our work on Open Data Kit with customized data collection forms and reporting server. ODK Collect 1.4.3 allows the data preloading in new round of survey. We took advantage of that and created a survey form with associated database of existing grower information. Some key technical aspects in designing such forms include the following:
Create a .csv file containing the data you want to use as pre-loaded in your questions. For example our csv name is SCGDV1.csv
The .csv file must contain a column with name ending with “_key”. This column will be used for lookup. For example in our case we used “grower_id_key”
The column names for other columns should also be short and unique.
Create a simple form using ODK build or any other xml form builder of your choice
Open the xml for in note pad or any other xml editor for advance changes
Search for “<bind nodeset” and you will reach in the part of form containing data nodes
Where SCGDV1 is name of csv file, “name” is the column heading whose value you want to pull against grower_id given in /data/grower_id while “grower_id_key” will be used for searching that name.
Suppose you entered 15 as a grower_id in a question and you use pulldata() function to fetch name of the grower having id 15 from the csv file. So it will search for 15 in “grower_id_key” column and will find the corresponding name for that record and fill the Name question with what it found.
pulldata() function is used with a calculate command with each nodeset and resultantly code looks like this
Even when they are numbers, data fields pulled from a .csv file are considered to be text strings. Thus, you may sometimes need to use the int() or number() functions to convert a pre-loaded field into numeric form. In my case int() did not worked but number() works fine as it can be seen above. I had to use this function for each and every nodeset where data type was integer. Otherwise it gives error.
Once form is complete, test is using ODK Validate and upload in your aggregate along with csv file. Deploy on your mobile and it works perfect.
A group of urban planning students from University of Engineering and Technology (CRP-10) including M. Aamir Basheer, Imtiaz Hussain, Imran Nawaz, Zohaib Anwar, Iqra Ismail, Rohail Javaid, Ghulam Mustafa, Akram Anwar, Adnan Khan, Aniqa Azam, Areesha Gul has prepared GIS based peri urban structure plan of Okara City using high resolution satellite image. The map includes Points of interest , Existing urban boundary , Existing land uses, Proposed Roads, and Proposed urban block.
This is a true addition to the existing effort on GIS mapping of Okara which was done by Munawar and Nausheen (CRP-08) in 2009. Previous map can be seen HERE.
An interesting effort by Muhammad Mashhood and Arif Hussain, students at Engineering University, Department of City and Regional Planning.
Its GIS based map of Hujra Shah Muqeem containing base map, existing land uses, road network, points of interest, existing and proposed urban area boundaries, water bodies and proposed land uses for future growth.
This GIS datasets contains polygonal boundaries for 170 union councils of Rawalpindi urban area as well as Rawalpindi District. This geo-dataset is more reliable for urban area and seems to be less accurate for rural towns.
This GIS map consists of polygonal boundaries for 118 union councils of Faisalabad urban area. It has been developed and generously shared by Nasar min Allah Bhalli (M.Phil) from Department of geography, GC University Faisalabad.
This GIS map contains polygonal boundaries for 31 administration town of Karachi. It has been developed by Dr. Jamil H. Kazmi at he Department of geography, University of Karachi and generously shared by Bilal Aslam (Research Fellow).
Seismo-Tectonic map of Pakistan having information for earth quack distribution, damages categories and major structural features with the background with interpolation on depth of the earthquakes.
This map has been developed and generously shared by Mohammad Ihsan Afridi, Geologist Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation, Peshawar Pakistan
Base data for this map have been collected from the meteorological department, some from the Engineering council as building design code of Pakistan and the rest have been digitized from the published map of the Geological Survey of Pakistan.