Creating a location type

For each form, users choose amongst a list of location types to geographically represent the data in this form. Location types are libraries of locations stored in the platform and that can be linked to any number of forms as long as they are set in the same country.  

While users can chose built-in location types, creating your own location type allows you to have full control over the locations your users can choose from when performing data entry.

Locations are created in databases by defining a new location type and then adding a list of geographic locations. You can use the location type you create in all forms of your database and in all databases in the same country.

Creating a new location type

To add locations to a database, you need to first define a new location type. Examples of location types are villages, schools, health centers, water points, etcetera.

Creating a new location type
Defining the properties of a new location type

The name and permission settings of your location type can be changed in the future.

Now that you have created a new location type, you can add the actual locations by following the instructions in the next step.

Be aware that the location type you create will be visible and available to all users with a database in the same country where you create your location type. Please DO not store any information in location types which is sensitive or personal and choose a name which clearly distinguishes your location type from others. If, for example, you choose to upload your own list of districts when there already is an administrative level called "Districts", make sure to add something to the location type name which helps to distinguish it from others. For example: "Districts (for UNHCR RRP)".

Adding locations

After you have created a new location type, you can use the table editor to add geographic locations at which you want to collect data.

Name: the name of the location you are adding. While the name should ideally be recognizable and unique, the system allows you to enter multiple locations bearing the same name.

Alternate name: the alternate name can be use to add precision to a name or to distinguish two locations bearing the same name for instance. Another example is to use this field for the P-Code.

Administrative units: the hard-working folks behind ActivityInfo have uploaded administrative levels for each country in the world; while we try to keep this information as complete and up to date as possible, there might be missing layers of information or outdated layers in the country you are working in. If you are working in a country where geographic information appears missing/outdated, contact us and we will see what we can do.

Assigning administrative levels to entries will allow you to create Reports (charts, pivot tables, maps) in which data is aggregated by administrative levels. The more precise you geographically describe your data, the more options you will have when creating your reports.

Locations can store administrative level information and/or geographic coordinates (lat/long decimals).

Geographic coordinates: only lat/long decimal (dot or comma) coordinates are accepted in the platform.

Editing or removing an existing location

To edit or remove an existing location:

  1. Select the location type in your database and click "Open Table" to open the location table.
  2. Find and select the location you want to edit or remove.
  3. Click "Edit" at the top of the table update the properties of the location or click "Remove" to delete it.

When removing or editing a location, keep the following in mind:

  • If you remove a location where data has been submitted, the submitted data will be unaffected: it will not be deleted and will remain linked to the old location. However, you will no longer be able to filter your reports using the old location.
  • If you edit an existing location, all data linked to this location will be automatically updated as well. Please keep this in mind if you decide to significantly move the geographic location as all reported data will move along!