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Spotlight on Mobile Location Features

September 28, 2020 | Ashmi Wadhwani

When capturing data on a mobile device, it’s often useful to capture the location as well, especially if the work is being performed by remote field engineers. In the DevonWay mobile app, both mobile forms and mobile observations, provide the ability to capture the user’s location (assuming of course that the user has given their permission).

This blog post introduces this feature in three parts: information on how the geolocation field appears in the app, reverse address look-up, and options and future capabilities around reporting on your mobile location data.

Geolocation field

To allow for easier options to enter in your location, we provide ways to collect location in the form of coordinates that display in a map format, similar to what you might see in a ride-hailing app. To add this in a mobile form, using Designer you simply add a geolocation field. This field will display as a map on the mobile device, and a pin will appear to reflect the device’s current location (make sure your location services are turned on for your device). This data is recorded as an encoded geophash-36 string.

Reverse Address Look-up

The app also supports translating the coordinates corresponding to the pin into a human-readable address, which then displays in a character field. The user may manually adjust the address, but any changes will be overwritten if the map marker is moved. The user may tap the compass icon to the right of the text field to reset the address.

Reporting on the Location Data

There are cases where you may want to report on the data gathered from your mobile activity, including the location. Currently, we support reporting that uses charts and tables (below is an example of reporting on location data in a table). In this example, there is a manual step to group the location data (in this case location group) to be able to aggregate the data.

Alternatively, we are exploring options to offer visualizations for the map data. This will allow for important location data to be easy to digest and communicate. Below is a map visualization that illustrates what this might look like.

We want your feedback! Please fill out this two question survey to let us know more about what you would like to see in a map visualization.

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