4.3 Using OpenMapKit

This guide provides surveyors, mappers and field supervisors with the skills to:

  • Configure OpenMapKit on devices for individual use and data collection
  • Operate OpenMapKit for field data collection


OpenMapKit (OMK) is an additional application that is used to support ODK Collect in determining the position of objects found during precise and precise field surveys. OpenMapKit can be run through ODK Collect, after you open and select one of the available forms. In determining the location of an object, OpenMapKit requires a map background in the form of a satellite imagery or OSM map. If you use the OSM as the map background, the thing to note is that the data must be available on the OSM server.

Prior to learning how to use OpenMapKit, users should know how to use ODK (OpenDataKit) Collect, an android-based application to replace paper form for surveys as OpenMapKit is an extension of ODK Collect. This extension is used to add information on the position or location of the object surveyed.

*If you have not yet completed the initial set-up OpenMapKit, see 3.2.2 Setting up OpenMapKit before proceeding.

Resources and Training Materials

This section features a selection of resources targeted at project managers, trainers, or even self-learners on the topic(s) outlined above.

The following section is designed to serve as a self-paced guides for project managers, supervisors, or others in setting up the application.

Configuring OpenMapKit

Before you use OpenMapKit, you must first make sure each device is confirgured. The following are step by step instructions of the initial OpenMapKit Configuration:

  • On the home page of OpenMapKit, press the settings button located in the upper right corner. This will allow you to download deployments (if applicable), select a basemap, and select the OSM buildings layer.

1. Deployments

If using OpenMapKit Server and deployments, follow these steps to download files needed for field mapping. If not using deployments, skip to 2. Basemap.

  • Open the OpenMapKit app, tap on the Settings button in the top right corner, and select Deployments [1].
  • Select the appropriate deployment (i.e. census-versalles). Select the black download button in the lower right corner.

2. Basemaps

By default, OpenMapKit will display the Online Humanitarian OpenStreetMap that can be accessed using an internet connection. However, if manually added to the device or downloaded through a deployment, an offline basemap can be opened without an internet connection.

Select and change the OpenMapKit basemap by pressing the settings button located in the top right corner and pressing Basemap then select the .mbtiles. Then press OK.

Display basemap settings in OpenMapKit

3. OSM Buildings Layer

Selecting an installed OSM File Open the OpenMapKit app, tap on the Settings button in the top right corner, and select OSM XML Layer [3]. Select the correct .osm layer for the locality that is being worked in.

Downloading OSM file If your device does not have an OSM buildings layer (.osm file) pre-loaded or a file was not downloaded with a deployment, users can still download an OSM buildings layer with an internet connection. Users will need to complete the following steps:

  • Navigate the map to your current location (for example, you are already on the survey location) by pressing the round button in the lower right corner of the screen until the round button is colored blue. A black dot will appear at your current location.

Navigate to the current location in OpenMapKit

  • Press the settings button in the top right corner

  • Select OSM XML Downloader to start download OSM data according to the view on the screen of your smartphone (the duration depends on the size of the area). Make sure you are connected to an internet connection when downloading OSM data. Note the color of the building, the building on the OSM _basemap _have brown color and the building from _OSM XML Downloader _ is purple.

Building colors

  • Your new downloaded OSM data will be saved in the format .osm which can be activated or deactivated via the settings button OSM XML Layer.

OSM XML Downloader menu and OSM XML Layers menu

4. Enter OSM Username

Select OSM User name OSM and enter your User Name

Display settings menu OpenMapKit

Using OpenMapKit

Once you have configured your basemap and OSM layer, you can add the building information by:

  • Select the building to which the information will be added. Make sure the building is purple which indicates that the building has been downloaded from OSM. If the building is selected, the color will change to orange.

  • You can fill the building information in accordance with the form you have chosen before in the ODK Collect application, with press the information tag in the first row located below.

Fill out building information using a form from ODK Collect

  • When done, at the end of the page select Save to save the form to ODK Collect. If you have completed filling in the form, the building that you fill in the information will look like this:

The building that has been filled in the information

If the building data for location of your survey is not yet available in the OSM, you can map the building before conducting the survey. If you don’t have time to do the mapping, you can use points to mark the object in the OpenMapKit by:

  • Press the plus (+) icon in the lower right corner of your screen until it turns green. It will appear green marker with the words Add Node on it. Slide the map until the location of the marker is accurate with the object in the field.

Add marker using plus icon

  • Press Add Node if the point is accurate

Add node button when adding a point

  • If the point you add turns out to be in a position that is not in represent with the object in the field, you can move the point that has been added by clicking on the point to move then press the two arrow icon in the top right corner. The color of the point will turn orange and above it will be appear Place Node.

Swipe points that have been added

  • Slide the map to the accurate point position, then press Place Node.

Place node button when shifting a point

  • After the position is accurate as the object in the field, you can fill out the form the same as the previous step.

  • Enter information that matches the conditions in the field. Swipe the screen right or left to change thepage questionon the form.

  • At the end of the page, select Save to save the form to ODK Collect. If you finished to fill in forms, the marker that you fill in the information will look like this:

the point of objects already loaded with informations

  • Now you can see the form has been successfully saved on the ODK Collect.

Note: all OpenMapKit surveys will be launched from the ODK application.