ruODK - An API wrapper for OpenDataKit's new clearinghouse ODK Central

Hi all,

some threads here mention digital data capture using OpenDataKit.
My employer, the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions (Western Australia), are very happy ODK users - the amazing developer community (and the fact it’s FOSS as in we don’t waste taxpayers’ dollars) is a big plus to us. So far, we’ve collected ~20k records in ODK, and we’re just phasing out ODK Aggregate in favour of ODK Central.

ODK are progressing nicely with their new data clearinghouse ODK Central, which has a fantastic interactive API doco. (showerthought: ckanr, but for ODK Central)

ODK run an ODK Central sandbox, and the setup is pretty well documented (we run it in Kubernetes on Azure).

The online form builder provides a very useable drag-and-drop GUI, and at least among my colleagues there isn’t any real need to turn form building from a GUI with real-time validation into an R script. (Related: Field data collection workflow)

My real pain point / feature request / package idea is to automate the data ETL pipeline from ODK Central directly into reports / CKAN datasets (for smaller research campaigns), or into our downstream data warehouse (another RESTful API, for large monitoring campaigns), so I’ve started writing a wrapper in R, ruODK. While a few functions are still missing, I wanted to ask for your feedback - let me know what you think (or yell at me, the louder the better).

Follow-up: ruODK 0.6.0 is now up to date with ODK Central 0.6 (released 15 Aug 2019) and submitted for review.


Thanks for posting here Florian. I haven’t used ODK myself, but seems like a great project, especially after just listening to a podcast episode with the founder - guessing folks reading this post will also enjoy listening