Using ODK for nature conservation


I just found ODK and liked it alot. I will have a project for bat conservation and I would like to use ODK as my primary way of data collection tool for our Science for nature Foundation. I hope to find some finances to help with the development of the tools. I need to read alot of course before that.
A have few questions:

  1. Is there a way to have gps track for each form as start and end with the timer logger? Our way of filed work is to have a track during walking with bat sound detector, and we need the distance in order to do some calculations afterwards. When working with other species we need also track + gps point for every animal we see/catch in the same time. I see that there is a feature for track a path but it has to be on screen on and also you cannot fill out other fields during the track and also I need to add even points during the track. So may be I am talking about background tracking and having the track as part of the form.
  2. May I develop the ODK (the server, app and etc.) so to make a tool that is for nature conservation usage? I mean is it allowed to modify some stuff or I need to have permission from someone? ODK team?

Probably questions that you have discussed already. I have tried to read before this post, but I could not find probably exactly the same questions. Also checked on Google Apps that there are like atleast 3 apps for data collection, they are almost the same with fine tuning and I wonder if it is OK to make even another version in other languages or new features?

Thank you in advance.

wrt modifying the ODK tools source, releasing your own custom version(s), etc, both ODK Collect and ODK Aggregate are released under the Apache 2.0 license, which is a fairly permissive open source license in terms of being able to re-use the code for your own purposes. Specifically, its non-viral, meaning you can re-use the code in other products (even commercial ones!) and not have to release your entire product as open source too [whereas other GPL-ish licenses do], so long as you retain the original license/code attribution of anything you've copied.

If it is just a custom fork of, say, Collect, you might instead consider getting your new features added to Collect base via PRs [the ODK Project itself isnt likely to ever offer two different versions of Collect...]. wrt using the "ODK" brand in anything you produce, that would require explicit approval from the ODK Project Management Committee (PMC) or Technical Steering Committee (TSC), and in all likelihood that may require you contributing your tool back to the opendatakit project.

All the legalese aside, if you are considering forking any of the ODK tools and customizing them, I would strongly recommend getting yourself known to and getting involved with the core ODK development team. Slack is a good place to start.

There is no option yet for a background GPS track. You might instead want to use a separate GPS tracking app to generate the GPS tracker and then have enumerators attach that file to the form before submitting it.