How to manage image export from Central


Just got the new features email from @yanokwa (What’s New: Collect data about places, time-saving exports, and a big milestone) Many thanks!

I am concerned about one thing. How to export images from Central? Central is superb in a lot of contexts. However, image export gets complex as the data increases. I created multiple discussion topics in the forum related to issues coming up with big data size. When you have data size exceeding 2 or 3 GBs, exporting images alongwith the data is almost impossible.

Briefcase was one of the hopes to act as a temp workaround, since even if it breaks the connection, still it used to resume the downloads from where it last left. But now this does out of support as well. Although I assume the current version will keep working.

The only way to manage images (especially export out of Central) left now is the API. I also suggested a new feature of enabling image storage on AWS-S3 bucket, so that at least they are safe if the server crashes (the worst issue of all). I do have this developed as a workaround in one of the dashboards. However, it would be great if a direct feature in ODK central could be made with similar options.

Many thanks for the brilliant work! It has been a lovely journey so far!

I disagree with the notion that exporting images along with the data is almost impossible. We have plenty of ODK Cloud customers who have very large datasets and they have no problems.

I agree that you are having problems with your install, but it's likely that the problem is with your infrastructure, and not with Central. Did you try my suggestions? If so, update that topic with your findings so we can get to the root cause.

As you noted, Briefcase will continue working even if the core team is not supporting it. And if in the future you find it's not working the way you'd like or it's not feature complete, you are free to improve it.

External storage for blobs is on our roadmap (see External storage for blobs in ODK Central), but it's a lot of work relative to the demand for that feature. If you (or anyone else) is interested in building or funding this feature, email me at