Background geotrace function in a non-active survey

1. What is the problem? Be very detailed.

I plan to use the form I have just built to gather field data about snake activity patterns. Snake activity patterns have important implications for understanding snake ecology, but also human-snake conflict. The idea is that citizen/community scientists who do walking/driving surveys looking for snakes (yes, thats a thing) can start a survey during which they drive/walk around looking for snakes. When a snake is encountered it can be logged (together with other information about the observation including gps point, time, photo, species, size etc) as part of a group that gets repeated with the start_repeat end_repeat syntax. The survey ends once the field worker clicks on the "Do not add Snake Observation" dialog button.

The problem I am having relates to the the geotrace. I need the geotrace to run from the start of the survey and end once the survey ends (perhaps 15 min to 120 min later). I can see how to collect a geotrace in one question. But not over the course of the survey. I tried using audit (with a number of audit location parameter settings) but its clearly designed to log gps points when someone is busy on the form. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your view of snakes) many surveys yield very few snakes, and most yield zero snakes. Critically, I need a survey in which no snakes are detected for perhaps and hour or two to still produce a geotrace.

2. What app or server are you using and on what device and operating system? Include version numbers.

I am new to ODK, and have just built my first survey using XLSForms and Google Drive (for now) with deployment to ODK Collect (v2021.3.4) on a Samsung Galaxy A72 running Android 11.

3. What you have you tried to fix the problem?

See above: tried audit

I have spend the last few days searching this forum for answers. I see that other have had similar requests so I apologize if this is a redundant request.

Happy to take any advice.


Your best bet is to record a GPS trace with an external app that produces a GPX file and attach that file with the file widget to the form.

Thanks. I had seen that suggested and am concerned that once I start increasing the number of enumerators that people will forget to log the other app. Regardless, let me try.