Publish at November 13 2012 Updated May 09 2022

EpiCollect - Powerful open source mobile data collection tool

To send your interviewers, all of them, in the field and follow their results in real time

EpiCollect an open source application powerful enough to satisfy most data collection needs, no matter how large or small.

It can include simple or long questions and answers, single or multiple choice answers; in text or numeric data, required or not, graphed or not, with automatic geolocation or not, and with photos.

Developed by Imperial College London for its epidemiological survey needs, EpiCollect compiles online data captured by people who entered it from their mobile device, whether Android or iOS.

It didn't take long to figure out that it could be used for much more than epidemiological data. Since all data is kept on your Google account by default, or on the server you designate, the independence of your data is taken for granted from the start.

Getting Started

When creating the data collection template or form, you specify your Google account; this is where all your data will be kept. The form creation interface is very intuitive and allows you to create them quickly and efficiently. The data is in ASCAP, for maximum compatibility, so the system does not accept any accented characters or apostrophes. So make sure your work is saved by going back to the top of the page to check the error messages. If it is green, everything is OK.

Then you download the EpiCollect input application on your mobile, type the name of the form you have created and immediately you can complete it. Your data is stored on your device; even if you do not have access to the network your data is not lost. When you have access to it, you simply click on "Synchronize" and it will be transmitted to the compilation site, your Google account or other.

You are the one who creates the form but each person to whom you communicate the name of the form will be able to download it from their mobile and also view the results, but without being able to modify them.

Once synchronized, all the data entered as well as the place, time and photos associated with them, if you took any, will be accessible on your project page. This way, one can view the map and summary graphs or view each individual piece of data.

Animation Tool

In short, while getting started is a bit tricky without support, a little perseverance will be worth it and you'll undoubtedly discover new ways to use this application, if only as a geolocator-recorder. The relative simplicity of the package makes it a very powerful terrain search tool. Its massive use will require a short period of familiarization of users to ensure their ability to use it, but the result will be worth it. EpiCollect is a professional tool.

What is certain is that it allows you to collect data and quickly accumulate evidence or proofs over time and space. For biologists as well as sociologists, epidemiologists, blogging journalists, or social facilitators, this kind of tool can be used to mobilize people around a phenomenon or cause more effectively than many speeches.


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