Mathieu Bossaert - TAB Application - 2020-09-01

Mathieu Bossaert (@mathieubossaert)

Mathieu Bossaert

What contributions (e.g., issue triage, tech support, documentation, bug fixes) have you made to the ODK community?
I tried to support users on the forum, to help on issues I faced before and things I know.

I collaborated to French translation of Central's frontend (With Hélène AND Ahmadou Dicko)

I gave courses for French Biodiversity Office (Previously ATEN) : 4 sessions / 40 people approx, with my colleague Rémy Clément, aboiut how to create a form to collect species data and retrieve it into a PostGIS database.

I spent some time this spring to share a detailed showcase article about our general purpose form, with the kind reviews of Hélène and Gareth :

I get involved on features discussions, like last autumn about "Refinements to Repeat Group Navigation, and get an interview about that with Callum
I am also involved in "Geo" discussions
I did a transposition of Gareth's showcase article (that export ODK geo fields to kml) to WKT export in order to facilitate ODK data usage into QGIS :

I am a beta tester of odk collect.

Since 2015 I did some talks about ODK to different public (geomaticians, CNRS database managers, students, research institute)

How do you believe your contributions have benefited ODK?
With the course, I think we increased the number of french users in nature conservation community but not only.

I also think that talks and form sharing showed how easy it is to create a high level field tool, with easy data integration to GIS and general databases.

The examples and help given on the forum also encourage people to use the solution.

What do you believe the top priorities for ODK are?
GEO features are really functional and perspectives are great to add more interaction between geo objects and collected data.

Longitudinal data collection : I think it does fit the needs we have in nature conservation and ecology to be able to come back to an ancient data, state of object, in order to actualize it and monitor its evolution

Collected data integration in a more complex historical (Geo) information system. Things can be easilly done with ETL tools such as Kettle or Talend Open Studio but PostgreSQL is a really good ETL too :wink: . I will investigate SQL querying facilities over Central in the favor of PostgresSQL xml processing improvements.

I also ask myself about French translation of ODK documentation...

How will you help the ODK community accomplish those priorities?
I'll try to consolidate, expose and explain needs from my colleagues (I mean people working on Nature conservation and Ecology)

All our thematic are linked to those 3 priorities (Geo, longitudinal data collection, data integration). As I am trying to do it since I am involved in the forum, I'll participate to discussions about the needs and implementation possibilities and scenarios and test the work done. It is really motivating to discuss things, test it and use it in new forms. End users do appreciate the way the community considers their needs.

I would also like to encourage French users to be more active over the forum. It could more constructive than having a lot of discussion on the French side, synthesis and expose by myself on the forum.

Translating Central was also a great experience this summer, I would be glad to translate again

How many hours a week can you commit to participating on the TSC?
2 hours seems to be a reasonable average. ##

What other mobile data collection projects, social good projects, or open source projects are you involved with?
I am a member of since 10 years, a french geo-informatics forum, where I am one of the QGIS and PostgreSQL forum's moderators.

I co-animate the geomatician group of the "Conservatoires d'Espaces Naturels"'s network (25 people)

About social goods, I am involved as an employee in a French Nature Conservation NGO since 2003 and I am involved as a volunteer in a Collaborative carpentry, which shares good modern machines and workshop to wood workers.

Please share any links to public resources (e.g., resume, blog, Github) that help support your application.
The site I started as a personal notebook became a place where I share some work ( and more recently We will try to bring up such a site for the whole CEN federation. A lot of very interesting things are done by my colleagues in the different CEN but they are not shared enough :frowning:

The gitlab pages of the courses we gave to nature conservation geomatician :

Here are the different links to talks I gave about ODK :


Hi @mathieubossaert :wave:
If you have less than 10 seconds to convince a colleague/student that ODK is great, what would you tell them about it?

(also, if you're looking to do more French translation the OpenDroneMap documentation needs some help :wink: )

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Hi @danbjoseph,

If the colleague/student is a field expert, I'll focus on collect.
If your field protocol's logical is clear and well described in your head or in a document, it is easy to create a phone form, that respects closely your protocol, works offline, embeds a map. It will guarantee your input with domain constraints and input controls, and make your data consolidated and usable as soon as you'll be back at the office, even in a GIS or statistical software software.
And the time you used to spend before to digitize you paper data will be available to spend more time on the field, for data analysis or to translate OpenDroneMap documentation :slight_smile:

If the colleague/student I have to convince is a "geomatician" or a database administrator, I will insist on how ODK is easy to integrate to an existing information system, because of PostgreSQL facilities and API. As I am a PostgreSQL user I could give him examples and resources about it.
And as far as I am not yet an API user I will encourage him to read the doc, use the tools and ask questions on the forum.

For both profiles I will tell how the community (developers and users) is welcoming, attentive and helpful.

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Respectfully, that's a long 10 seconds - unless you talk much more quickly than me :slight_smile:

To be fair 10 seconds is not a great opportunity to convince someone of the power of ODK (no disrespect @danbjoseph) - I wouldn't, for example, try to do it on twitter!

But if you'd asked me to do that (and I'm glad I got off lightly!), I would suggest:

It's easy, quick and flexible; you can ditch paper (oh so good in our Scottish climate!) and save time overall (even taking into account the learning curve at first). And it's free at the point of use (also good in a Scottish climate!) needing no special equipment to get set up.

I'd point them towards the showcase too, especially @mathieubossaert's relevant post: ODK to collect species and habitats localities, as pressure and threats to ecosystems :slight_smile:


Yes it's true I speak too fast, but in French only, especially when the subject interests me ... In English my speed is more normal ! But you're right, it's 10 long seconds :slight_smile:

And your English is better than mine - I've been practising for a long time. I would struggle to convince anyone in another language (I have 'studied' Spanish on and off for the past 20+ years, but still could not meaningfully discourse at such a high level), so I am glad you took my jest well.

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Thank you @seewhy ! For me it is easier to write in English than to speak.
Scottish holidays are far away now :sleepy:

Ah, we were meant to be in our camper van in France right now :sob: You will be welcome to come and practice your English as soon as you are allowed without quarantine. That's a serious invite, by the way.

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Hi @mathieubossaert,

Thanks for the detailed application.

In your opinion what is going so well in the ODK community and what areas need improvements? (if any)