Get your tree related questions answered by our knowledgable members!

Post a question or a topic for discussion in the forum below

Open Data Kit for tree inventories

Does anyone have experience using Open Data Kit (ODK) or ODK Collect to conduct a tree inventory? It is a free software that allows you to create a form for collecting data with a mobile device. It is used in various fields from natural resources to public health.

I first read about it in last month's Arborist News (p.43) and have been spending some time today creating an inventory template, by modifying the i-Tree Streets collection fields.

This seems like it has great potential for inventories for community tree inventories since it is completely customizable (and free!) You can also include photos and collect GPS information.

More information here:

If anyone has experience with the software or any tips, it would be great to hear them. 


You need to be a member of American Grove to add comments!

Join American Grove

Email me when people reply –


  • Thanks, Alison, for passing that along! Very interesting report that offers A LOT of useful information.
    This is a study done to compaire different options that are out there. (pg 27) has a handy chart with all the features each has to compaire. We are currently trying to choose what is best for us and this looks like a good place to get some ideas.
  • I've looked into many of these options, with the hopes of finding a free application that can run with or without an internet connection on commonly available smartphones and tablets, using their GPS to generate location data.  So far the closest I've found is doforms.  They are somehow partnered with ODK.  I haven't checked out ODK yet because I don't have an android device; doforms works on androids and iOS devices.  I'd also love to hear if folks are using ODK for community tree surveys.

  • Thanks for the valuable information.

  • Thanks Lisa and Katherine! 

  • Thanks for posting both to Mollie and Lisa! I've also come across this service for mobile devices from Talking2Trees This service from Velo Tree is still in beta:

    At TIS we're still evaluating services, investigating & testing which will work best for our purposes. When outside people ask what to use I usually suggest that they do the same and examine various options.

    In general, looks like ODK is great for increased flexibility in designing data collection, the other hosts may offer slightly more in user interface. Plan-It Geo appears to have more training and customer support, the web integration also looks pretty spiffy. Talking2Trees may fit some people's purposes for ease, it backs up data to the cloud automatically and can integrate with other GIS databases in the area. Velo Tree is eager to please right now as it is still in development and perks could go to early adopters, otherwise unknown how it will perform against the others.

    I agree, ODK and its integration w/ Google Earth has great potential for community tree inventories.

  •!ufc-plotter-tree-inventory-app/cx0w  Here is another tree inventory option sent to me today by Michigan's Urban Forester.

  • Hi Mollie,

    This looks interesting. I also will investigate. Thanks for posting. 


This reply was deleted.