Country Wise List of Users in ODK Forum

Dear ODK Team,

It would be very helpful , if we are creating Country wise groups of members present in ODK Forum. I have seen the community , local , but it seems only four members are present as India users. Is it the exact figure or is it that other members from India are tagged in different groups.


I second @mistcrrgpsa 's suggestion - this could be really useful for collaboration and discovering in-country resources.

@LN Is it possible to add a country field to forum members? And be able to search users by that field?
It would be extra useful if there was a country_primary and country_others field, so people could list multiple countries they have projects in too.

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Good ideas all around! @mistcrrgpsa I think in general it's ok to post country-centric topics wherever they fit in best. If it's about interacting with ministries of health, for example, I think it would go in Community and whoever has experience can answer. If it's about working with a particular device only available in one country, it could be a support question. Etc.

The idea with creating a Local category with country-specific threads was to encourage local meetups. Whenever Yaw and I travel together for field visits we reach out to the local ODK community and have met some truly amazing people that way. So far it doesn't look like many meetups have happened but these things take time to establish! Another thing we could try is to create an "India" category in the "Community" category.

@Andrew users can currently set their location on their profile. Are you thinking that this location may be different than the deployment country? I quickly looked into custom fields on Discourse (this forum platform) but unfortunately those don't seem to be searchable. Perhaps there's a plugin or tool that would let us keep track of where deployments are? The OpenMRS Atlas comes to mind.

Hi Helen,

I don't think that we need to create a category for the same. If so , it
will be difficult to accommodate other countries. The intention was to
identify people by their country so as to enable more.collaborative work
within the geographical boundary, currently it seems difficult to find all
members who are from India. Request to have a second thought on the same

@LN Is it possible to search for users by the standard location (country) fields? I haven't been able to find that anywhere in the UI, although it might be possible via the API.
The idea would be to be able to search for other users who have indicated they live in my country (or a country where I am planning a deployment).

And yes, I think that location may be different to deployment country, and that some people have deployments in multiple countries.
For people to engage it would probably need to be something that integrates fairly seamlessly with the new user signup process, so perhaps not so straightforward.

Agreed it would be nice to have an easy way to identify countries we all work in and have that be searchable. I don't know of any easy way to do it within Discourse and it would help if someone could research and come up with a concrete approach to try. Seems there's some interest in related features within the broader Discourse community:,,

@downey, perhaps you have ideas from other communities you've been involved in?

I am really surprised that there isn't an easy way of doing this. @TobiasEigen this seems like something you'd know about from all your Discourse experience. Any ideas?

Dear Yaw,

I suggest that in the sign up process we need to add more fields for
identifying country and if required region.

Also for existing user, mandatory update option can be provided for the
country list.

Moreover the country can be auto identified using google geo locations.

Thanks & Regards,Anup Krishna P,Specialist MIS,State Program Management
Unit(SPMU),Rasthriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA),Local Self Government
Department,Govt. of KeralaPh: 94960 46910

@mistcrrgpsa I completely agree this is a great goal! But it's going to require quite a bit of work to go from the high-level idea to a concrete implementation. To get more details around this I would probably install Discourse locally and start exploring which of its capabilities can be leveraged and extended. Here are some of the questions I have:

  • Can we do anything useful will the location and flag information that users already provide? Make it searchable? Map it?
  • If we require an additional field on signup, can we make that searchable? Map it?
  • How can we make sure place names are valid and in a consistent format?
  • @mistcrrgpsa mentions requiring existing users to fill out their location. How can that be triggered?
  • Given that we have 6k+ users, how do we make maps usable at different zoom levels?

There's some discussion over at Help wanted: Google Summer of Code 2018 application 🌞 about making this into a GSoC project. Perhaps the conversation can continue here to keep things organized!

@ggalmazor shared the following Discourse plugins that could be useful for ideas or inspiration:

@downey checked in with GSoC organizers to make sure this would be a candidate and it seems so. The recommendation is to try to find a co-mentor who has Discourse experience so that would be a todo item.

To get this ready as a proposed project I think the requirements will need to be expanded on a little bit to make sure it's a big enough project and clear for potential applicants.


@mistcrrgpsa, @Andrew, this is now possible (in beta) thanks to the awesome folks of the Discourse project. Special thanks to @angus for all his fantastic plugins and the mentoring he offered on this enhancement! :tada:

You can see the map at You can also navigate to it by clicking on the hamburger menu and clicking on Users:

You can set your own location at You can also navigate to it by clicking on your avatar in the upper right corner, then clicking on the settings gear:

You will then click on "Profile" in the left hand bar, scroll down to Map Location and set the location as you want.

Keep in mind that others can zoom in so I wouldn't recommend using your home address! Set map location to a local landmark, your city, your county, your state or even your country to preserve your privacy.

I hope everyone enjoys this feature. Please share any feedback here! The plugin is still in active development and has some limitations. You have an opportunity to help shape it by providing your ideas or even make improvements to the code -- that's :sparkles:the magic of open source :sparkles:.


:thinking: but did i mess it up somehow?



That explains how you can answer so many support questions :laughing:

I think it's probably just a caching issue? I only see one of you on my map.

odd. i still see 2 of me. do you see only one of yourself on the map?

Yup, I only see one of me. I'll report the issue and see if it can be looked at for the next plugin update.

Finally I was able to set my location. I was trying from yesterday but the Map Location text box in profile page doesn't showing any location.
I tried different place of neighborhood but none of them is appearing in the list. It took long for Nepal to appear in the list.
There might be some issue in generating the Location name from OSM.


It looks nice :+1:
and everything works fine for me.

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Looking good. Fun to see some more markers on the map. And also only one of me now :wink:

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