Ground is an open source, map-first data collection platform that enables users to collect, map, and share data. Built from the ground up to support mobile data collection, Ground syncs data seamlessly over internet connections that are only occasionally available. The Ground team, made up of volunteers at Google and contributors from the open source community, aspires to empower local communities, researchers, NGOs, and other interest groups to collect data that matters.
Note: Ground is not an officially supported Google product, and is developed on a best-effort basis. If you would like to contribute to Ground development, see the Contribute section. If you have questions or ideas about Ground that you’d like to share, post them to the ground-discuss discussion group.
Offline First: Mobility is crucial when collecting or verifying data in remote areas. Ground’s offline mobile data collection and offline raster basemaps give users uninterrupted access to important data wherever they may be. Intelligent background data sync automatically applies changes and uploads new data when an internet connection is available.
Flexible Data Collection: Raster basemaps, photo, audio, and video attachments, custom forms and data validation, and other features, make Ground a great tool for collecting geospatial data on a wide range of domains. You can tune Ground to meet your needs, whether you’re tracking malaria outbreaks or mapping animal habitats.
Community Engagement: Ground allows local communities, citizen scientists, and small to large enterprises to manage and own the entire process, from setting up and running a project, to visualizing and analyzing results. Collaboration features make small and large scale crowd-sourcing possible out of the box. This allows users to apply local knowledge at scale to produce otherwise inaccessible insights.
Remeasurement: Ground’s unique data collection model not only allows collection of data in space, but also allows remeasurement of observations over time and/or by multiple users. Map and monitor glacial movements, community food and water resources, algae levels, and other dynamic data points.
It’s the Ground team’s mission to make Ground adaptable to a broad range of humanitarian, data-intensive, and geospatial use cases, such as:
Environmental Conservation: Environmental organizations and conservationists can use Ground to capture ecological data, map migration routes or habitats, and discover and mitigate the effects of environmental change.
Resource Management: Using Ground, communities can manage resources in conditions of scarcity, such as droughts or food shortages. Individuals can report on the status of shared infrastructure, and relief and recovery teams can assess and determine the best distribution of available aid.
Social Analysis: Sociologists and students can use Ground to collect and analyze population data, community growth, and other social factors. Researchers can use Ground to encourage the direct participation of communities in the research process.
Civic Engagement: Ground can enhance civic participation by equipping policy makers, community groups, and institutions with the data they need to assess public sentiment and enact change. Civic organizations can use Ground to facilitate civic engagement, poll citizenry, and analyze the political landscape.
Traditional Knowledge Preservation Using Ground, indigenous communities can record place-based traditional knowledge, skills, and practices. Ground empowers stewards of tradition to incorporate sites of cultural and natural significance into land management and community development decisions. Communities can use Ground to assist their collaborations with community knowledge holders on field trips and during interviews.
Ground is open source and relies on contributions from the open source community to sustain its development. The sections below describe ways you can help Ground become the go-to tool for high impact geospatial data collection projects around the world.
If you’d like to contribute to the development of Ground source code, check out one of the currently maintained Ground source repositories.
Important: Be sure to read each repository’s
CONTRIBUTING.md file contains important guidelines for
contributors to the Ground project.
ground-platform: Contains source code for Ground cloud components, including the Web Console and Firebase Cloud Functions and database config.
ground-android: Contains source code for the Ground Android application.
Join the Discussion
Join official Ground discussion groups to get updates on new features, get in touch with other Ground users, and add your voice to the conversation:
- https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/ground-announcements: Project wide announcements happen in this discussion group. Join this group to stay up to date on major feature updates and other important changes.