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Merging Projects In Tobii Studio May 23, 2011

Posted by Jon Ward in eye tracking, Glasses, Media, Studio, Tips And Tricks, Tobii.

One of the common questions we get from clients relates to merging data from different Tobii projects, and more often or not the question is “Why can’t I merge data from two different Tobii Studio Projects?” so I thought it was time to do a little blog post to help people through this and understand a workflow to avoid any potential issues.

The main thing to understand is that when a project folder is created within Studio it is given a ‘digital signature’ of sorts which is unique to that project and that copy of Studio. If you want to merge data later on YOU MUST USE THIS PROJECT AS THE TEMPLATE!

To give you an example of what I mean by this let’s assume we are collecting data in two locations – at each location I create the test using the stimuli required, put them into a timeline that is exactly the same on both machines. On paper these look identical and you would think you can merge the data – you can’t. The digital signature of each test is different and therefore they are standalone projects, regardless of how identical they may appear. In this scenario you should create the blank project at one location, filling the timeline with the relevant stimuli and so on. Once the test is ready to go, export the project using the “EXPORT PROJECT ARCHIVE” option in the “FILE” menu within Studio. On the second (and each subsequent) location we would then import the test template into the Studio licence there, thereby retaining the digital signature and allowing us to merge data sets at a later date.

Once data capture is completed we use the “EXPORT” and “IMPORT” project archive tools accordingly and when we import we get the option to either merge the data sets or have them as separate tests in the library. Please note you cannot merge the tests by doing the quick “copy and paste” style of export.

Hope this helps people and reduces confusion! As always fire over any questions to jon@acuity-ets.com or give me a call on 01189 000796 and I’ll be happy to help.


1. Perry - September 28, 2011

Thanks for the sharing your knowledge. 🙂
-Tobii reseller in Korea-

2. Simon - December 7, 2011

Hmmm thanks for sharing, not sure if it is bad news to us…

We have completed a project with multiple pictures, and we have created a few “Tests” to hold different rotation orders. Now we can only look at the totals (e.g. heat maps) or individual order sets, but not the total… is there anything we can do at this stage?

Scott Hodgins - December 7, 2011

Hi Simon,

You could use the AOI group tools to look at statistics across the tests, provided they are in the same project.

As for heatmaps etc, you will be limited to whichever media is in the tests.

Feel free to email me direct at scott (at) acuity-ets.com if we can help further.


3. Maria Laura Bettinsoli - June 24, 2016

Hi there,

I’m working on different tests (because of counterbalancing) within the same project.
I have 4 participants in each test.
now, the heatmap represents only the results of 4 participants in each test.
is there a way in which I could merge all the heatmap data in one single heatmap representing all the participants?

I used the same image among the 10 tests so basically it is the same but I can’t consider only one heatmap because it is not representative of the sample. I would only need one single heatmap that combine all the tests. 🙂
Thank you so much,


Jon Ward - July 5, 2016

Hi Maria, I am afraid if you have the data in different tests then you cannot merge them to create a combined heatmap. Within Tobii Studio you can either manually move the stimulus in the timeline to counterbalance, or use the Sequence Presentation tool to allow for different rotations / sequences.

Maria Laura Bettinsoli - July 5, 2016

Hi Jon,
Thank you so much for your reply!


4. Tong Xie - February 6, 2017

Hi Maria and Jon,

I have the same problems with Maria. But I have already collected the data in 6 different tests. And now I would like to create the heat map of the same items in these 6 different tests, but I could not. Do you have any idea how to deal with it?


Scott Hodgins - February 6, 2017

Hi Tong,

The very quick answer is that you can’t do this inside Tobii Studio, it is a limitation of the database behind the software.

I am sorry we cannot be more helpful.

Best, Scott.

5. Jon Ward - February 7, 2017

Hi Tong,

Scott is correct I am afraid – the way the software separates data is that within a test (a timeline within the project) the data can be visually compared only within users / stimulus within that test. For statistical analysis you can compare between different tests – so for example as a heat map only gives you a very top level view of behaviour you will likely find more value in using the AOI’s and statistics tools to measure journey, dwell, identify outliers, repeat viewers and so on. This you can do between different tests. Simply copy and paste the AOI’s to the same media on the different test timelines and then run the statistics. If you then want to group the statistics across all viewers, on all tests, on the same media use the AOI group tool and this will collate the figures for you.



6. Tong Xie - February 14, 2017

Hello Jon,

Thank you for your great help on my question about the heat map.

I was wondering if I could have an other question about the Area of Interest.

Could I redefine the area of interest, such as extending or combining the areas of interest, and analysis the existing data set based on the new area of interest?

Best regards,

Tong Xie

Jon Ward - February 14, 2017

Absolutely! You can resize, move, add or delete areas of interest after data capture. You can also use the grouping of AOI tool retrospectively as well. Remember though that once you change the shape and size or add / delete areas they are changed in the project so you can revert back to the original shapes / sizes. It might be sensible to make a back up of the project first just in case you want to revert back.

7. James Spurin - April 16, 2017

Completely agree with the recommendations in this post. Unfortunately, you may have committed efforts to a project and find out later, that some items cannot be easily transferred from one to the other 🙂

I created the following tool which may be of interest for those who have AOI’s in one project that they need elsewhere. It copies or merges between projects.


It may also provide a useful starting point for those who need to transfer other items within Tobii projects. During the development, I used SQLiteDatabaseBrowser to work out the data structures.

Jon Ward - June 7, 2017

Hi James, thanks for sharing!

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