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.

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