Collections are sets of related data that are used within your project. Collections are comprised of one or more individual “items”. The composition of items is determined by attributes.
Collections may comprise very simple items, such as lists of numbers, weather conditions, colours or makes of car.
They can also contain complex information like geometries. An example of this might be a collection of shapefiles describing country boundaries.
Collections are used in several ways in Coreo.
- They are a useful way to provide a fixed set of responses to questions within forms. For example, a select field (like a dropdown) may reference a collection to enable users to select only ‘Yes, No‘ or ‘Red, Green, Blue‘ as possible answers.
- Geometry based collections allow users to view and/or select specific geographic areas.
- Collections can also be used top populate pages with information. The main use of this is to build reference guides.
Creating a collection
To create a collection, from the dashboard go to the Configuration menu. In the Data Recording section select Collections > New collection.
Collections can be created in one of several ways:
This will create an empty collection with no items, or attributes. You will first need to name your empty collection. After that you can add items by typing them in one by one or you can import them from another source (as below).
2. From CSV
You can upload a .csv file containing your data. This is a convenient way to work with larger collections as you can work with your collection data in Excel.
A very important concept to adhere to when creating a .csv file is to provide each item with a ‘key‘ and ‘value‘ column. ‘Key‘ values are unique identifiers for each item, and you must therefore make sure not to duplicate them within a collection.
3. From GeoJSON
You can upload a GeoJSON file to create a collection from geographic data.
4. From Shapefile (zipped)
You can upload a zipped shapefile to create a collection from your geographic data. This .zip file must contain the appropriate set of files. These are:
- A .shp file
- A .dbf file
- A .prj file
- A .shx file
Collections contain one or more items. Attributes are features of items and they determine what data each item can store. ‘Key‘ and ‘Value‘ are the only two mandatory attributes. The ‘Key‘ is never shown publicly within the Coreo ecosystem and is only for system use, although it will be visible in in data exports. Within any collection an item’s ‘Key‘ is unique.
Beyond the two mandatory attributes, you can add others to suit your purposes. For example, you might wish to create a collection of bird species. Below are some attributes it might make sense to store in your collection:
- Key – song_thrush
- Value – Song Thrush
- Status – Resident
- Voice – Song – an even paced, melodic song which consists of key short phrases, often repeated 2 or 4 times in succession (compare with blackbird and robin which never regularly repeat phrases in this way).
Attributes can either be added by specifying them in your source file (e.g. as columns in your .csv) or manually within Coreo.
When adding a reference guide to your project, you can choose which attributes to add.
Media and Collections
One of the unique features of Coreo is that it allows you to add media (images and audio) to items within a collection. This enables you to build features like visual reference guides.