Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Do you own a reMarkable? This could help you...

reMarkable HyUtilities is a simple application that helps the reMarkable user  mainly with 3 things that I have been missing. Maybe some of them are available to windows or apple users, but they suck for linux users.
  1. upload of templates. At every update the templates are reset to factory, so my personalized ones are gone. I needed a quick tool to restore them. ssh and scp and even FileZilla are good, but I needed something that didn't require my brain.
  2. upload of graphics. Same as for templates. I customized all possible graphics (splash, reboot, etc), so I need to restore them.
  3. backup. This is important. At the time being there is no way to the raw data. The story that pushed me to this development was a user that reported his reMarkable stolen and was afraid that the thief would delete everything from it before being able to somehow disconnect the cloud account and save the data. Since we are making big use of the device, this is a HUGE issue.

First startup

Download the application from the release page and unzip it on your disk.

To run the application launch the start.bat or file. Note that this needs java to be installed on your system.

Once launched, you should see something like:

the first time you run it you will need to insert:
  • the host, i.e. the ip address of your reMarkable device
  • the user: root
  • the password to your device
  • the folder on your disk to use as a base for your data. Notice that it is mandatory to have 3 folders already in it:
    • templates: put there all your template images, can be empty
    • graphics: put there all your custom graphics, can be empty
    • backup: can be empty


If working mode templates is selected, then the local templates should be shown.

If you put the refresh button, the remote ones will be shown.

Push the Upload local button and the app will upload your templates to the device.


The working mode graphics works exactly the same way as the templates mode.


The backup mode is a download only mode at the moment. It enables the backup button:

If that one is pushed, the application will:
  • compress all your data on the device
  • download the tar.gz archive to the local folder
  • remove the archive from the device again
Note that the backup action can be very long going if you have many data on the device. Let the app the time to finish.

Restart device

There is also a restart device button. Once uploads have been done, it is better to restart your device. It can be done manually or through the button.


On the project page there are big warnings, please read them!


Thursday, July 5, 2018

Geopaparazzi 5.6.1 is out

Usually when I have time to make bugfixes I also make a release after that. Last time I did fixes I then got caught in the work crossfire and forgot to. I didn't notice, since on my devices I have the most advanced testing devel version.

Yesterday Silvia asked me why the fix she asked for wasn't there yet! :-)
So I noticed. Well, I added a couple of more fixes to the closed list and here we go.

This is mostly a bugfix release, with a few minor usability enhancements that recently a very advanced geopaparazzi user started to report. I am not able to catch up with all his reports, but some of them are in.

Here we go:


  • better feedback about form name and positioning mode (GPS or Map Center) in actionbar
  • all exports now follow all the same pattern. They are exported in the geopaparazzi/export folder and their name is made if the project name + type + timestamp of export
  • project PDF export now has the possibility to export only a selected portion of notes
  • activate button for profiles is now on the main cardview
  • better proportion of forms in portrait mode
  • tile sources icon is now always visible in actionbar
  • dashboard enhancements: visualize number of notes and logs, open notes list on long tap
  • save button in forms now a floating action button to remind user to save


  • the force locale didn't have English to allow a user to go back to default
  • fixes on profiles not being visible in landscape mode
  • fix for last background map used not reloaded on app restart
  • fix for crash on pushing back button in form notes
  • fix for crash on issue empty sql query in advanced view
  • fix for issue with saving forms with empty fields
  • avoid data loss in form notes when user exists with back button. Now the user is warned.

 And of course, language updates.


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Geopaparazzi Survey Server

Would you believe it? Only a month ago I was showing the Geopaparazzi Profiles Server developed by the guys at GeoAnalytic and now I am here again to write about the Geopaparazzi Survey Server (GSS).

What does Survey Server even mean? :-)

Well, while the Profile concept is a sophisticated way to handle survey data, background data, forms, spatialite databases and their way of synchronization, the GSS si something much smaller. But in our opinion it reflects the workflow of many, many surveyors and groups of surveyors.

The Geopaparazzi Survey Server (GSS) is a web application that allows geopaparazzi users to synchronize their project data with a central server.

Its companion is an Android app named Geopaparazzi Survey Server Sync (GSSS) available on google play. The app can connect to geopaparazzi projects and synchronize the data contained using the unique device ID to upload the data to the server.

Any device that connects to the server with its ID, will be accepted and if not available, the new id is automatically inserted in the central db.

So this is not about spatialite datasets, but only about geopaparazzi project files, that can contain notes, complex form notes, GPS logs and images.

The server application

The server application is packaged as a docker images and can be installed in the blink of an eye ( well, if your connection is fast). Once you install it, you get a nice and simple web application with a login

a dashboard, a mapview with the possibility to load/unload the data of your surveyors, zoom to it and check information of your notes, gps logs and images:

The surveyors' device that connects to the server is inserted in the surveyors list, if it is not registered already. There a human readable name can be assigned and some basic contact:

The mobile app

The mobile app has been done for android. FYI, we are also working on a desktop version app. There are several reasons for which we decided to go with an external app instead of adding this to geopaparazzi itself. The most important thing is that several cloud synchronization applications are getting born around geopaparazzi these days. We will probably have to let these ideas mature and then at some point it will be possible to converge on the best methodology.

But right now I find it more respectful to have an external app that uses its own way to collect the data from the geopaparazzi projects and send them to the server instance.

So let's have a short look at the Geopaparazzi Survey Server Sync, GSSS :-)

Well, it is a simple simple app with the possibility to load geopaparazzi projects. In it you can see what data are available for upload, i.e. dirty data:

Since the app uses the device id as surveyor id, some simple configurations need to be done:

Once the project file is loaded, the device id is ensured and the server url is inserted... well, just push the upload button! On successful upload the list of notes will be empty and your survey can go on using geopaparazzi.

Installation and training

A complete installation and quickstart guide is available here. Check it out to see all features available.

If you want to get a small training first hand from the developers, we will be giving a workshop about geopaparazzi and GSS at the following locations in the near future:

We would also be very happy to be involved with this stack in projects in developing countries, where data collection and centralization is necessary.
If you are interested, please reach out to us.