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Table of Contents



  1. Make sure that your application is running the appropriate versions of CommCare. Both the client and the application content must be updated:

    1. The CommCare client version from the Play Store must be 2.14 or greater. See Upgrading CommCare Mobile Software.

    2. Your application version on the settings page for your application must also be set to 2.14. More information found at How to Update CommCare Application Content

  2. Turn on Auto GPS Capture on CommCareHQ

    1. For all forms (when GPS capture will be active in all forms in an application)

      1. Navigate to the application settings page

      2. Under Android settings check the box for "Auto Capture Location (all forms)" and save

    2. For one form (when GPS capture will be active in only some forms in an application)

      1. Navigate to the specific form that you wish to auto capture GPS location

      2. Click the check box "Auto Capture Location (all forms)" and save

  3. Make a new version of your application and deploy it to your phone.  Your phone will now attempt to automatically capture GPS locations for the forms you have selected.

Configuration at the app level

Configuration at form specific level

Auto Capture Location - App LevelImage RemovedAuto Capture Location - App LevelImage AddedAuto Capture Location - Form LevelImage RemovedAuto Capture Location - Form LevelImage Added

Saving GPS data to the case


One can use the standard Export Forms routine to export GPS data. To do so, select Show Advanced Settings in the Export Settings page and then include the Location field. To further break down the location and include latitude, longitude, altitude and accuracy in separate columns of the export, enable Expand Checkbox Questions.


    • For information on how to use GPS data please see GPS Data.

    • For troubleshooting, see GPS Limitations.

    • The phone's GPS must be on for this feature to work. If it is switched off, CommCare will prompt the user if they want to turn on GPS. This message will pop up each time they enter a form for which auto capture is on.

    • The accuracy reported with every location actually comes with a 68% probability, see details on Android's Accuracy here. So an accuracy of 4000m doesn’t mean the location is within 4000m, it means that there’s a 2/3rd chance that the correct location is within 4000m and a 1/3rd chance that it isn’t.


    • Q: Generally, what is "accurate" in GPS captures?
      A: There are two accuracy thresholds. 1600m is "acceptable" and 10m is "good."

    • Q: How does GPS capture differ between using the GPS question in a form and the autocapture form/app setting (aside from how it shows up in form exports)?
      A: Aside from the fact that for the question, the user has to trigger the attempt at GPS capture, whereas for autocapture that happens automatically, there is no difference, notably in things like the accuracy of the capture or how long CommCare tries for the capture (2 minutes in both cases). For GPS questions, once the device gets a location that's "acceptable" it gets displayed to the user, but the GPS will keep querying until it reaches a "good" value (as it gets more accurate values, it'll keep updating the screen that says "Your location is ABC, do you want to save?"). For auto GPS capture, "acceptable" doesn't matter, the GPS just keeps querying until it hits a "good" value (or 2 minutes pass). So even if it never hits a "good" or even "acceptable" value, after 2 minutes, it saves whatever best value it has, regardless of how rough it is, notably because the accuracy is also stored with the location.

    • Q: Does the CommCare version matter? I.e., is GPS capture via the question worse in v2.10.0 than in v2.26.0? Is that different for GPS via autocapture?
      A: Accuracy shouldn't depend on CommCare. It will depend on location, hardware, and proximity to wifi networks.

    • Q: What happens if you move around after submitting the form? Say, drive in a car for the remaining 1.5 minutes after submitting a 30 second form? Does it try to find the location you submitted the form at (doubt this is possible?)?
      A: It uses the last location acquired during form entry. I.e., it doesn't update once you hit submit on the form.