Set folder location for photos in Google Drive

1. What is the general goal of the feature?

To be able to set a Google Drive folder location for photos taken within the ODK Collect form.

2. What are some example use cases for this feature?

Right now, we have multiple users that we want to be able to take photos using ODK Collect. Currently, the photos end up in their own Google Drive folders, Open Data Kit -> Submissions. These users can be temporary employees, and sometimes they aren't technically savy either. When they leave, the folders may be deleted along with the photos. There is also the possibility they may delete the photos themselves by accident. Even if I use a script to copy the photos to a centrally managed folder in a central Google Drive using the URL from form's Google Sheet, we need either 1) the user to grant access to their folder first, or 2) send an access request for every photo taken. To say that this is a lot of work is an understatement.

3. What can you contribute to making this feature a reality?

I could test out any versions of this feature developed, and provide feedback. I wish I could contribute more, but my programming skills are far too basic to actually modify ODK Collect itself.

Did you resolve this issue? I believe we are in a similar situation as you describe. We are google based organization with multiple staff collecting photos through forms. But accessing the forms is problematic at present.

As far as I know, there is no way to set the photo location. My best solution has been to write a Google Apps Script to copy from the user's folder to a location of my choosing, and write the destination URL back to the Google Sheet. It's a bit clumsy since I still need the user to give read access to their photo folder. It's the best I idea I have for now though. Another product named AppSheet seems to have the same issue though so maybe it's more complex than I thought to get around the problem. If you find a solution, let me know. Good luck!

It's not possible to specify that location but thanks for reporting the issue. I'm going to improve the functionality related to Google Sheets so I'll take it into account.
I started a few topics with other issues:

Since you are real users I would love to get to know your opinion on them.

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I added a comment for "Improve the way we refer media files in Google Sheets " in the issue itself.

For "Improve the way we refer media files in Google Sheets" & "Add an option to specify the sheet that should be used by ODK Collect while sending filled forms to Google Sheets" I'll speak generally here.

Basically, photo/media management is the bane of my existence, and anything that makes it easier is good with me. Google's URL's in Sheets, have nothing to do with the actual filenames in Drive, so attempting to manage the files en masse is very difficult, especially when managing thousands, hundreds, or even tens of photos. While it's nice being able to click a URL to see the photo when looking at an individual record, it's useless for doing any sort of mass organization of photos. I had the same problem with using Blobstore URL's in Aggregate too though.

Specifying the destination sheet within Google Sheet would be a nice feature, but if resources for development are limited, that would be a lesser priority for me. The other feature request I submitted to be able to state a target folder in Google Drive (while using Google Sheets as our data destination) for photos/media would be far more useful for our organization.

Has there been any advances on the ability to have attachments stored in a shared Drive folder vs the submitters Drive?

Or the ability to define subfolders for different forms?

Thank you,

Hi @MattDavis939

nothing has changed in this functionality. I have investigated the problem but then it wasn't prioritized somehow and I didn't work on it.

Hello again and I am sorry to hear that. That is a very severe limitation/issue.

Since every person collecting has to share their "Open Data Kit" folder we will need to set something up to go collect those files and delete them from their personal accounts. It is also a problem that since they share their "Open Data Kit" folder with me, I can no longer submit attachments even for testing because ODK Collect reports an error during upload when it finds multiple "Open Data Kit" folders.

I do not understand how others could be getting around this issue.

Thank you again for the response,

Maybe they use one Google account specially created to use in ODK Colelct.