Placing GeoPoints by dragging the map instead of long-pressing


(Ka-Ping Yee) #1

Hi, I'm doing some development on the geographic features (GeoPoint, GeoTrace, GeoShape) in ODK Collect.

I'm considering a change in the method of placing points on the map, and we would like your feedback.

Currently, in GeoPoint and GeoShape, you can place points on the map by long-pressing on the map. The point is placed where you pressed, that is, under your finger.

The new method under consideration is to press a button that places the point at the center of the screen (which would be marked with crosshairs). So, to place a point, you drag the map until the desired location is at the crosshairs, and then you press the button to place the point.

The motivations for this method are:

  • It's hard to indicate a precise position with your finger; dragging the map lets you adjust the position until it is exactly where you want it.
  • If the point appears under your finger, its position is hard to see; using a separate button to place a point keeps your finger from obscuring the new point.
  • Long-pressing is slow and hard to discover without instructions.

We would love to hear your feedback (positive or negative) or any concerns with this change in the placement method. Thanks!

(Ka-Ping Yee) #2

I'm tagging a few of you who have posted elsewhere about the geo widgets on this forum, in case you're interested:

@Remy_CLEMENT @mathieubossaert @Xiphware @OlivierVernin @martijnr @adil_mansour @danbjoseph @Jefferson_Francisco

Let us know what you think!

(Ka-Ping Yee) #3

Tagging a few more: @Enrico_Ferreguti @ggalmazor @Ivangayton @yanokwa @shiva_Reddy @paul_macharia @cooperka @Grzesiek2010

(Mathieubossaert) #4

Hi @zestyping,

thanks for your proposal. From my "DBA" point of view, I think it would allow better accuracy. But I asked my colleagues, the end-users , what they think about it.
I'll tell you soon.

(Guillermo) #5

Hi, @zestyping!

I'm not a huge user of this type of apps/features but your proposal seems reasonable.

I'd ask though: How is this solved in other mainstream apps? Is it like you are proposing or are there other alternative methods? I'm sure you've already thought about this, and I'm asking just to double check that we're not reinventing the wheel instead of using industry-default UX interactions.

(Mathieubossaert) #6

The first answer from a colleague is positive.
The other tool he use ( MAPinr ) do have such a feature and he find it more precise.
I tried and yes, in fact, it is very intuitive. A point symbolize you position on the map and a cross in the center of the map represent the location to save. You can move the map to point the place you want to map under the cross and click to collect location.
You can also recenter the map to place your current location under the cross.


I'm good with this; I don't have a problem with long-press provided that you can zoom sufficiently, but sliding the map around central cross-hairs is also fine.

(paul macharia) #8


This sounds like a great idea. Just this afternoon I was working with foresters and getting an accurate selection of the geopoint is a challenge with current setup.

Paul Macharia

(Yaw Anokwa) #9

@paul_macharia This technique would only work if you have an accurate map layer to orient the point. Seems like in a forest you might not have all that detail or do you?

(paul macharia) #10


This is true.

ODK Collect allows use of Google map or OpenStreetMap. This is what one would rely on right?

Paul Macharia

(Mathieubossaert) #11

Or any mbtile you want...

(Mathieubossaert) #12

Good morning,

two other colleagues would like that method instead of the long-pressing.
A method they already use in popular closed app.

And another one with good arguments (edit 12:27 pm)

From my own experiments to geo-locate points on the field, the proposed method (moving the map with a cursor in the center) will be better than the long-press. Especially when conditions are difficult and the touch is not ideal (fingers full of soil, water etc ..)

(Brice Goedert) #13

in my National Society, we use such a system to localise the adress of our customers, and be able to calculate the best road.
We started with the possibility to place the point on the map, and after a few months, we switched to moving the map under the centered point. We have over 1000 users, and they almost all prefered this fastest and more precise way to do.
Hope it could help.