Mathieu Bossaert (@mathieubossaert)
Conservatoire d'Espaces Naturels d'Occitanie (France)
What contributions have you made to ODK?
About spreading ODK:
- I have conducted trainings about ODK (form definition and data workflows with PostgreSQL/PostGIS) for GIS and Databases administrators (~50) from different Nature Conservation bodies or French research labs.
- I have presented ODK at different conferences and meetings : Forum TIC, FOSS4G-FR, Webinars, French research meetings.
- I have written several presentations of forms on the ODK forum in 2020 and the geotribu's website in 2021
- I initiated the creation of a french "showcase" website where to describe and share forms about nature conservation and biodiversity monitoring we hope to inaugurate on October
- I initiated an application to a call for projects about the dissemination of a French standard for species observation data. We are going to produce a ODK form conforming to this data standard.
- I try to translate Collect and Central as soon as new strings are available in transifex
- I contribute to the forum.
About using ODK:
- In 2020 I said I needed to investigate on how to improve data workflows between Central and our PostgreSQL centric information system. I described those researches on the forum and few month later I wrote a working set of SQL functions - I called central2pg - in order to automate data consolidation into PostgreSQL using Central's ODATA API.
How do you believe your contributions have benefited ODK?
Courses grows users community and form showcases make non users curious about ODK.
Forum discussions with the community (users, core team, and TAB) about features and needs help to formulate the needs and, I hope, new feature prototyping
Central2pg seems to satisfy some users around the world. I am quite proud of this contribution and the positive feedback from users involved in projects that make sense to me. It's great to "contribute" to such projects through a little SQL code ! It helps SQL fans like me to get clean database tables from their forms.
What do you believe the top priorities for ODK should be?
- Geo stuff with map appearance in select is a huge step forward. Our first uses are really promising and we are very impatient to play with lines and polygons.
- I think it would be great to be able to push external datasets files with new or updated entries on phones without publish a new form version.
- use central to do it or getting a widget to be able to download files and put it at the right place (geojson, csv medias or custom mbtiles). This second approach really enjoys me as it would increase ODK's "genericity". One only form would use different external datasets or base layers mbtiles depending on user...
- A Form showcase with documentation, screencasts and sources (xlsx download) would really help to spread ODK and share good practices and tips and tricks
- I will create such a website, with colleagues from other CENs in order to spread ODK in nature conservation bodies
- Finding a workaround with certificate issues to allow local installation of ODK Central to help students or unconnected bodies to discover and use ODK. I am convinced that ODK is a great tool to teach information system based over powerful opensource components :
- formalize user needs about data collect and data analysis
- form creation for data collect (mobile and web)
- data analysis (SQL queries, even spatial, R scripts, Dashboards)
- restitution (R scripts and shiny apps, web SQL Dashboards, QGIS maps)
- French documentation : I read in a "tab" meeting transcript that you would like to have a French version of the documentation. I agree it is important !
How will you help ODK accomplish those priorities?
I will continue to show how we use ODK as an indispensable companion for our field missions, also that it is easy to deploy new forms instead of developing and maintaining dedicated applications, and that it easily integrates our information system and interacts with the other software we use.
The showcase of forms from CENs will be online and inaugurated during the annual CEN congress in October.
I will continue to improve central2pg and share forms and workflows from our organization. I would be glad and volunteer to help on french translation of the documentation.
How many hours a week can you commit to participating on the TAB?
What other data collection projects, social impact projects, or open source projects are you involved with?
I'm a member of georezo.net since 10 years, a french geo-informatics forum, where I used to be an active moderator of the QGIS and PostgreSQL forums but since I use a lot ODK I have to admit I spend more time on ODK's forum actually. We just open a "mobile tool" forum, I will try to make some place for ODK and I will be attentive to ODK questions and share ODK's forum resources.
I still co-animate the geomatics group of the "Conservatoires d'Espaces Naturels"'s network.
About "social impact projects", I have been working since 2003 in a French NGO for nature protection called CEN (Conservatoire d'espaces naturels) which currently employs 99 people (at the national level, the "CEN" network employs 1000 people). I am in charge of databases and data tools since 2005.
Please share any links to public resources (e.g., resume, blog, Github) that help support your application.
Playing with PostgreSQL and Central's Odata API
- PostgreSQL set of functions to get data from Central
- ODK to collect species and habitats localities, as pressure and threats to ecosystems
- Updating external media files for select questions from another form using Central's API
Other tools I like to use, not relative to work : https://www.unelephantdanslagarrigue.org