David Aanensen, EpiCollect – a generic framework for open data collection using smartphones

Looks at a number of projects, including spatialepidemiology.net which tracks MRSA spread, and Bd-Maps which looks at amphibian health.

Have been developing a smartphone app so that people in the field can add data. Use GPS so location aware, can take in stills/video.

EpiCollect, can submit info and access data others have submitted, and do data filtering. Android and iPhone versions. Very generic method, any questionnaires could be used for any subject.

Fully generic version at EpiCollect.net. Anyone can create a project, design a form for data collection, load the project up, go out and collect data, and then have a mapping interface on website that you can filter by variable. Free and open source, code on Google Code. Use Gmail authentication.

Drag and drop interface to create form from text input, long text, select single option, select multiple.

iPhone app is free. Can host multiple projects if you want. Once you load the project it transfers the form. Can add multiple entires on your phone. Can attach video, stills, sound. Then data sent to central server. Can actually use it without a SIM card, will save it and then upload over wifi.

Can also edit entires and add new entires via the web interface too. Have also included Google Chat, so that you can contact people directly through the web interface.

Data is mapped on Google Maps, which gives you a chance to see distribution, and can click through for futher details. Also produces bar graphs and pie charts.

One project was animal surveillance in Kenya and Tanzania. There’s also health facility mapping in Tanzania. Archeologists dig sites in Europe. Plant distribution in Yellowstone National Park, encouraging visitors to collect data. Street art collection, photographing favourite tags.

Very simple to use, so people can develop their own projects.

Open source so you can host it on your own server, just a simple XML definition.