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ruODK? Electronic Data Capture with R and ODK: From form design to insight in 0$

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Electronic Data Capture (EDC) as a replacement for traditional paper-based data capture can streamline the path from observation to analysis by cutting out redundant, resource-intensive, and error-prone steps of data transcription. OpenDataKit (ODK, is a Free and Open Source (FOSS) software suite for EDC. ODK has a world-wide user community (, an active developer community, a sustainable business model, comes at no cost to users, and is targeted towards resource-restricted, remote and offline data capture. ODK users include Google, WHO, CDC, USAID, the Red Cross and Red Crescent, the Carter Center, the Jane Goodall Institute and many others.

In this session, we will run through the process of EDC end to end, with the option of participating in each step.
We will design a new EDC form using the online form builder ODK Build (, then publish the form on DBCA's ODK Central instance (, credentials given out on the day), download the forms, capture and submit some data using ODK Collect, and lastly use ruODK to access, wrangle, and analyse the data using ruODK.

Interested participants can obtain a login to the ODK Central Sandbox (, so they can continue to evaluate ODK (with our without ruODK) in a no-cost environment.


Activity: Live demo and code-along for those who are keen

Duration: ca 45 mins; some prep for audience hands-on beforehand

Target audience: Practicing R users with an interest in electronic data capture using FOSS.

If interested in hands-on, bring:
* To build your own form: Sign up for a free account at
* To collect your own data: Bring an Android device with ODK Collect installed.
* To access and analyse the data: Bring a Laptop with R and ruODK with dependencies intstalled (
Come 30 mins early to do your ruODK/ODK Collect installation on the day.
​​About the presenter

Florian Mayer is an Ecoinformatician at the Western Australian Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) working on threatened species and ecological communities with a focus on marine turtles (North West Shelf Flatback Turtle Conservation Program, Florian has introduced ODK to DBCA's and affiliated Western Australian turtle monitoring programs in 2016 (~30k records captured through ~500 staff and volunteers since 2016) and authored ruODK.
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