Tips and suggested activities for training key features of Mapeo
Different features and workflows of Mapeo differ in terms of complexity, difficulty, and relative importance depending on your project. In order to help you plan the training activity, we have put together some reflections on the most commonly used Mapeo workflows and features, as well as some ideas for exercises that you can do with your group to practice the specific workflows during a training activity.
  • ​Collecting data​
    • πŸ’‘ Activity 1 - Collect data with Mapeo Mobile
    • πŸ’‘ Activity 2 - Create territory data with Mapeo Desktop
  • ​Synchronizing data​
    • πŸ’‘ Activity 3 - Sync data with Mapeo Mobile
    • πŸ’‘ Activity 4 - Sync data with Mapeo Desktop
    • πŸ’‘ Activity 5 - Filter observations in Mapeo Desktop
    • πŸ’‘ Activity 6 - Share observations with Mapeo Mobile

Collecting data

  • Normally it is a quick to learn workflow.
  • It can be time-consuming to get an agreed understanding of the use of categories and the level of detail that is needed for the Mapeo data. Having dedicated time to discuss this as a group after is recommended.
πŸ’‘ Activity 1 - Collect data with Mapeo Mobile
πŸ’‘ Activity 2- Create territory data with Mapeo Desktop

Synchronizing data

  • Synchronizing is the most difficult feature to fully understand because it is an offline feature that is not typical for most internet-dependent consumer-based technology. Peer-to-peer (P2P) can be very abstract to talk about and is more intuitive to understand when in action.
  • This functionality has a relatively steep learning curve for new users.
  • It is best to do it early in a training agenda in case more time is needed or the agenda requires this to be repeated towards the end of the event.
  • This is essential for understanding how data is aggregated on phones and/or computers with Mapeo when used in a community GIS data project.
  • Hands-on exercises are the best way to show and clarify that any edits or deletions made in the database on any device, will be shown on the other devices after syncing.
  • Having participants practice data sharing and data syncing is useful to visually illustrate the different behavior of the data in these two processes.
  • This is the most technically demanding module, and it requires careful preparation. (See Participant devices)
  • Pay extra attention to synchronization via Wi-Fi equipment requirements (SeeSynchronizing via Wi-Fi).
  • For Mapeo Desktop, take time to get an agreement on file naming conventions.
πŸ’‘ Activity 3 - Sync data with Mapeo Mobile
πŸ’‘ Activity 4 - Sync data with Mapeo Desktop

Viewing and editing data

  • This is generally a workflow that is quick to learn.
  • It's a great opportunity to discuss the quality of data.
  • If the training event is more than one day, it is recommended to maximize full exploration of filtering possibilities and potentials for outputs.
If training is just going to be one day, having sample data collected on a few different days before the event will make it possible for participants to practice using the filter by date feature.
πŸ’‘ Activity 5 - Filter observations in Mapeo Desktop
  • Editing & deleting on Mapeo Mobile is best demonstrated after synchronization so that participants can see how editing permissions work and understand their responsibility to the community project.
Check out the proposed πŸ’‘Activities for syncing edited/deleted data.

Generating outputs and exporting data

  • Mapeo Mobile and Desktop are designed very differently in terms of generating outputs because of typical user contexts. In both cases, it is important that there is a clear distinction between generating an external data output, and data synchronization.
  • Mapeo Mobile currently only creates one external output - Mobile alerts shared via messaging apps - designed for time-sensitive information that can help expedite crisis response to an incident. This can be quick to learn if the participants are already familiar with the use of other involved tools, such as email or Whatsapp.
πŸ’‘ Activity 6 - Share observations with Mapeo Mobile
  • Mapeo Desktop allows the creation of several types of outputs (PDF reports, CSV, SMART CSV and GeoJSON files, and web maps). Read more about it inExporting data & sharing externally. You can discuss which of these options are a priority to learn for the participants considering the goals and needs of the project. Depending on the goals, the skills, and the available time, you can also focus on how to use the data exports on other platforms such as Google Sheets, Excel, SMART, QGIS, ArcGIS, etc.