Getting Started With ODK

Using ODK

In most cases, users of ODK:

  • Create survey forms using Build or XLSForm
  • Upload forms to an Aggregate server
  • Load forms into Collect on an Android device
  • Use Collect to fill out forms with participants
  • Upload survey data from Collect to Aggregate
  • Analyze or export data in Aggregate

This requires:


While this is the typical use pattern, it is not the only way to do things. For example:

  • Forms can be created using tools other than Build or XLSForm
  • Forms can be transfered directly to Collect, without using Aggregate

ODK is a very flexible set of tools, and organizations will find their own best practices for adopting it.

Install Collect

The easiest way to install the ODK Collect App is to get it from the Google Play store.

For other installation options, see Installing Collect.

Install Aggregate

The easiest, recommended way to setup an ODK Aggregate instance is to use Google App Engine and the ODK Aggregate Installer.

You'll set up a new Google Cloud project, and then run the install utility locally. This will connect to your Google Cloud account and install Aggregate there.

For full details, and other installation methods, see the ODK Aggregate Installation and Setup Guide.

You can also watch this video which explains the installation procedure of ODK Aggregate on Google App Engine and also this Aggregate tutorial video which describes few of its functionalities.

Create and Upload Survey Forms with ODK Build

The quickest and easiest way to start using your own survey forms is to create them online with ODK Build. To create a form, you can follow the steps below or watch this tutorial which explains the creation process.

  • Go to, create a new account, and log in.
  • Once logged in, a blank survey is created. Give it a name (rename in the upper left-hand corner) and add a few questions (click on question types in the +Add New bar along the bottom).
  • Once your new form is complete, go to File ‣ Upload form to Aggregate… to upload your form.


Load, Complete, and Upload a Form with ODK Collect

  • Install and open ODK Collect on your Android device.
  • Open the menu and then select General Settings.
  • Select Server.
  • Edit the server settings to connect to your ODK Aggregate instance.
  • Go back to the app home screen and select Get Blank Form, then select your form.
  • Select Fill Blank Form to complete a survey.
  • Select Send Finalized Form to upload your completed survey to ODK Aggregate.

Now, you should be able to log back into your ODK Aggregate instance and see your completed survey results.