The Geo Location data type consists of the coordinates of a user when they are filling out a form, as well as the time and date the form is started. This information is then included in submitted data records alongside other form data.
Geo Location controls are found under Add > Geo Location > Stamp / Geo Control when building a form.
The Geo Location control type can be collected with two different Control Types, and using an advanced form setting.
- Geo Control: Allow users to acquire a geo location on a map. This is useful when users need to record multiple geo locations, or must be able to choose when they activate the geo control.
- Geo Stamp: Automatically acquire location information when the page of the form it is on is accessed. It can be made visible or hidden on a form, and is not editable by the user.
- Form-Level Geo Stamp: Request a location when a user sends a form.
Location Services must be enabled for ProntoForms on your mobile device in order for a Geo Location to be collected. This is an OS-level setting.
Note: The mobile device battery may discharge more quickly when Location Services is enabled.
Location Accuracy and Working Indoors
As GPS technology only functions in areas where there is satellite visibility, most GPS devices do not work well indoors. On iPhone and Android devices, assisted GPS is used to determine location, using network information in addition to satellite data. Although less precise, these technologies can provide a location when indoors where a GPS signal is not available.
- Mobile users who work primarily outdoors are good candidates to use the Geo Location capability on any of the supported devices.
- Where some form of Geo Stamp/Control is still desired, although location precision is not as critical, the Android and iPhone Geo Location capability offer a network-based location that can usually be acquired indoors.
Location fixes are split into two classifications depending on the accuracy: Fine and Coarse. This accuracy is determined by the system services used for the fix. GPS would be considered Fine, while Network would be considered Coarse. ProntoForms stores the most recent location fine AND coarse location fix; whenever a new fix is returned, it replaces the previous fix for that accuracy.
The logic to determine whether to grab the fine location fix or the coarse location fix is as follows:
- If a fine location fix was acquired within the last 5 minutes, use it.
- Otherwise if only one of the fine or coarse location fixes are available and it is still considered valid (obtained within the last 5 minutes), use that.
- Finally, if both fine and coarse location fixes are available, grab the most recently obtained that is valid (within 5 minutes).
Consequently, in areas of poor satellite visibility, the Geo Location information displayed in the form may be up to 5 minutes old. Note that the date/time collected with the Geo Location information will show the time the fix was acquired.