Handling datasets from and for Geopaparazzi

Several applications can be used to prepare and evaluate datasets for Geopaparazzi. The current ones known are:

  • Spatialite GUI
  • GDAL
  • QGIS


STAGE (Spatial Toolbox And Geoscripting Environment) is a standalone application dedicated to spatial analyses.

Related to Geopaparazzi, it contains functionalities to:

  • Create mbtiles files from raster and vector sources.
  • Export geopaparazzi projects (version 3 or 4) to shapefiles, notes, profiles, and other details.
  • Convert geopaparazzi projects from version 3 to version 4.


STAGE can be downloaded from the github releases page


  • copy the zip file in a folder:
  • stage_0.7_win64.zip for 64 bits windows operating systems
  • stage_0.7_win32.zip for 32 bits windows operating systems
  • stage_0.7_lin64.zip for 64 bits linux operating systems
  • unzip the file in a folder
  • enter the unzipped folder
  • run the Stage application (ex. stage.exe for windows)

The mobile section contains modules related to Geopaparazzi.


MBTiles creation

For the creation of an MBTiles file from a set of GIS data, as shapefiles and tiff rasters, select the module: GeopaparazziMapsCreator


The user will be able to add:

  • up to 2 raster tiff or asc maps
  • up to 5 vector shapefiles
  • define the name of the new mbtiles dataset
  • define the minimum and maximum wanted zoomlevel (zoomlevels > 18 start to take long time to build because of the large number of tiles generated)
  • the image type to use: - jpg: this should be used when photographic data are used (ex. aerial images) - png: this should be used when images are used (ex. technical maps)
  • the output folder, inside which the database will be created

Once the parameters are set, the module can be launched by pushing the green play button in the top right toolbar.

In case of big data the user should consider to set the memory put available to the run module. This is done in the lower left combobox labeled Memory [MB]. The number to set is considered to be MegaBytes. A safe value to use is a bit less than the amount of RAM available on the computer.

For windows 32bit machines it is not possible to use more than 1000 MB due to technical limitations of Java itself.

Converstion of Geopaparazzi data to GIS data

Through the module Geopaparazzi4Converter it is possible to export data from a Geopaparazzi project database.


The only parameter to set are the input Geopaparazzi database path and the output folder. It is also possible to toggle the creation of some of the data contained in the database.

To run the module, refer to the mbtiles section.

How are the data are exported from the Geopaparazzi database? The following is created:

  • point shapefiles for each type of note also complex forms
  • point shapefiles with reference to pictures taken and sketches
  • all pictures are exported to a media folder
  • line and points shapefiles for log lines and points
  • profile charts and csv of log data
  • a simple text project metadata file

The exported data, viewed inside a GIS (in this case uDig) look like the following:


Spatialite GUI

The Spatialite GUI can be used to create spatialite databases from shapefiles.

You can find the application on the spatialite homepage, at the time of writing a good version for windows is version 1.7.1 available in this download area.

Open it and find yourself with:


We now create a new empty database in which to load the shapefile data:


You will be asked to save the database somewhere on disk. Once done, you should find yourself with something like this, but with different path:


To then load a shapefil, locate the Load Shapefile icon:


In this example I will import a set of shapefiles from the Natural Earth dataset, in particular the following ones:


that can be found here.

The import dialog is the important one to fill the right way:


The really important things to take care of, are underlined in red:

  • the SRID, i.e. the EPSG code of the data projection. If that one is not right, then you will not be able to see the data in geopaparazzi. Don’t even hope in miracles!
  • the Charset Encoding. Make sure to choose the right one. For example Japanese people might want to choose SHIFT_JIS if they want to see the labels rendered properly
  • force the creation of the spatial index

If you then the push the ok button, you should find yourself with an ok message like this after the import:


You are almost there, one last step to go.

Right-click on the database name and select the Update Layer Statistics command.


Depending on the amount of data it should keep your harddisk working for a bit. Don’t think it finished unless you see a result like the following:


Once this result appears to you, you are good to go.

Move the spatialite database to your device, fire up geopaparazzi and go directly to the spatialite data view.

You should see something like:

Enable the countries and places layer, maybe also activate the labels
for the places layer:


Creation of local tiles datasets

Geopaparazzi does not support reprojecting raster data sources on-the-fly, so the file must be warped to the proper projection before using it. To do it you can use gdalwarp command.

The target projection must be Google Web Mercator (EPSG code 3857); you must know also the source projection of the raster you are converting. As an example, if you have a WGS 84 projected (EPSG code 4326) input file, you will run this kind of command:

gdalwarp -s_srs EPSG:4326 -t_srs EPSG:3857 -r bilinear input.tif output.tif

To create the tiles you can use gdal2tiles.py script, using as input your Google Web Mercator projected raster file:

gdal2tiles.py output.tif

It generates directory with TMS tiles, that you can use in Geopaparazzi. In the root of the this directory you will find “tilemapresource.xml” file which contains all the information to build the .mapurl file:

 <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
 <TileMap version="1.0.0" tilemapservice="http://tms.osgeo.org/1.0.0">
   <BoundingBox minx="46.39742402665929" miny="11.28858223249814" maxx="46.45081836101696" maxy="11.37616698902041"/>
   <Origin x="46.39742402665929" y="11.28858223249814"/>
   <TileFormat width="256" height="256" mime-type="image/png" extension="png"/>
   <TileSets profile="mercator">
     <TileSet href="12" units-per-pixel="38.21851413574219" order="12"/>
     <TileSet href="13" units-per-pixel="19.10925706787109" order="13"/>
     <TileSet href="14" units-per-pixel="9.55462853393555" order="14"/>
     <TileSet href="15" units-per-pixel="4.77731426696777" order="15"/>
     <TileSet href="16" units-per-pixel="2.38865713348389" order="16"/>
     <TileSet href="17" units-per-pixel="1.19432856674194" order="17"/>
     <TileSet href="18" units-per-pixel="0.59716428337097" order="18"/>

Note that the BoundingBox and Origin values created by gdal2tiles are have x and y values switched against how we need them:


Creation of MBTiles databases

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The Geopaparazzi plugin

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