Media Fields - Introduction and Location
Most smartphones contain GPS units for recording location, microphones for sound recording, cameras for still image and video capture, and can also act as barcode scanners for the extraction of data captured within 2D and 3D barcodes.
Within EpiCollect+ we provide the ability to tap into this rich source of additional data capture and you can specify within any form, any number of these media fields. Any media data are linked to your forms when sending data to your project server.
We will detail how to add these media fields to a form and show how these fields are presented to a user. Any data captured through these methods are sent to your EpiCollect Project server for display.
Within our demo form (schools) we will add a location and photo field and then detail how you can add further media fields.
Adding a Location Field
Within the form builder, on the left section (pink) click the section marked 'Media Fields'.
Drag and drop a 'Location' field onto your form - The following screenshot is from our demo Schools project:
The most important properties to define are the 'Label' and 'ID'
Label - The Label should contain the Question you would like a user to answer - For our demo project, we first enter the text 'Record Schools location.'
ID - The ID can be viewed as the column heading under which data will be stored in the database. For our ID we have entered 'SchoolsLocation' The ID should contain no spaces and be a convenient short hand name for the variable you wish to collect.
Required: Checking this means that a user MUST record a location before continuing
Any number of Location fields can be added to a form.
When the project is loaded onto a handset and this point in the form is reached, a user will be presented with a button to 'Tap to set location'. If a GPS (or wireless) location has been acquired, the 'location obtained' and 'Accuracy' will be given - Please see NOTE below.
Note: By default, location is acquired using the mobile devices inbuilt GPS. However, this requires that GPS is enabled on the device.
To enable GPS on your device you should go to the 'Settings' menu and then 'Location' and turn GPS on.
When your phone's GPS is acquiring a fix, the GPS icon will appear in the bar at the top of your screen. This icon will be flashing when acquiring a position and when acquired will remain solid (as below.)
If GPS is not enabled, EpiCollect+ will attempt to ascertain a location using other methods. Firstly, if you are connected to a wireless network, an IP Lookup is undertaken to try to determine location, otherwise, if you are connected to a mobile network, triangulation can be used to acquire a location. It should be noted that the accuracy achievable with these methods is less than true GPS.
To only allow GPS, we recommend turning off the 'use wireless networks' option on the devices location settings. This will not allow location to be determined by either wireless and/or mobile networks.
We will now move on to describing the addition of a photo Field.