farmOS Observation App

Tool Concept

Primary problem statement:
I am a farmer and I want a tool to record observations on my farm because a rich recorded history leads to more informed decisions.
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The goal of this tool would be to have a very simple and focused native app for Android and iOS that can be used to quickly and easily record observation logs that are automatically synced to a farmOS site.
Documentation Wiki: 

(This tool has not yet been created. This is an outline of the potential structure/requirements.)


The farmOS project ( is a web-based farm record keeping platform. One of the types of records that it keeps is "observation logs". farmOS does a great job of serving as a central repository for all of a farm's records, and because it is accessible from any internet-enabled device, it can be shared between many people at once.

One of the current challenges faced by farmOS users is that internet access is not always available in their fields.  So recording observations is not as easy as it could be.  They need to take photos on their phone and then log into farmOS later to upload them, and remember or write down any notes or details associated with them separately.

Another challenge is that, while farmOS's interface is mobile-friendly and provides all the same features on small devices as on large devices, entering information and uploading photos to a web page is not as easy in a phone's browser as it can be in a native application.


A simple cross-platform native application for Android and iOS could make quick and simple observations a lot easier.  It would work offline, and allow a photograph to be quickly taken in the field, along with some written notes (or potentially spoken notes using speech-to-text APIs).  The observation would be saved locally, and then automatically synced to farmOS when an internet connection becomes available.

Requirements (version 1.0 - minimum viable product)

  • On initial app install, give it the URL and login credentials of a farmOS site
  • Opening the app shows a form for creating a new observation log:
    • Observation title (single line text field)
    • A large button that opens the camera for taking a picture
    • Field for linking to assets/areas in farmOS
    • Tally Counter button for adding additional units (animals, bales, bags, numbers of plants, etc.)
    • Observation notes (multi-line text field)
    • "Save" button
  • Ability to take multiple photos is important
  • When "Save" is clicked, the observation is stored locally
  • In the background, the app waits for an internet connection and then syncs the observation log to farmOS via REST API
  • Maybe there could be a manual "Sync" button somewhere as well
  • Provide a link that opens the farmOS website itself (when an internet connection is available)

Future potential (version 1.x - nice-to-haves, but not necessary for minimum viable product)

  • Show a list of observations currently waiting to be synced, and ability to edit/delete them
  • Other farmOS log types? (Activities, Movements, Harvests, Inputs, etc) - Although personally I like the idea of keeping this app very simply aimed at "Observations"
  • ...
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