Testing and iterating

Once you've compiled your custom configuration, you will have a .mapeosettings file that can be imported into Mapeo Mobile and Desktop for testing and use.

What is a .mapeosettings file?

A .mapeosettings file is a tar file, similar to a zip file. For debugging purposes you can see the contents of the file by changing the file extension to .tar and using any application that can extract tar files.

Importing a configuration into Mapeo

For instructions on how to import a configuration file (.mapeosettings) into Mapeo, see:

Importing configurations into Mapeo Mobile

Importing configurations to Mapeo Desktop

Testing out your configuration

It's worthwhile to thoroughly kick the tires of your new configuration prior to introducing it into your project and beginning formal data collection.

A few things to look for when testing configurations:

  • Icons Do icons render clearly? Check how icons appear, especially in Mapeo Mobile on devices with smaller screens.

  • Categories Do categories appear in a logical order on the Categories screen of Mapeo Mobile? Changes can be made via the sort property in Creating categories.

  • Details fields Are text labels and placeholders easy to understand? Do details fields appear in a logical order? Fields will be displayed to users in the order they are listed in the fields array in Creating categories.

  • Colors If you added color to category map markers, are they distinguishable from one another and visible on your map background?

  • Name and version Does the name and version of your configuration appear as desired on the Project configuration screen of Mapeo Mobile or the Synchronize screen of Mapeo Desktop?

Making changes

Changes can easily be made to your configuration via steps in the Coding configurationsection. We often test, modify, recompile and retest several times before releasing a new config version.

As noted in Planning configuration & data structure, configurations can and often will evolve over time. As you begin collecting data, you will likely find categories, details fields and options you would like to add or modify.

Unlike some other survey or data collection tools, Mapeo allows a lot of flexibility for changing configurations over time and does not require that the database be wiped when changes are made. While changes to icons or color, name, label, or placeholder fields will be minor, more significant modifications like removing a category will impact how existing data is displayed in Mapeo and data exports. Regardless of these changes, no previous data will be lost or unviewable.

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