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What is the Ushahidi Platform?
November 26, 2009
maps, crowdsourcing, crisis, open source
• Imagine a way for people all over the world to tell the story of what was happening to them — or around them — during a disaster or emergency
• It would need to be easy to use. Something that almost anybody can do. And it would need to be deployable worldwide.
• And thatʼs why weʼve created Ushahidi ("testimony" in Swahili) Platform.
• Born form the post-election violence in Kenya in 2,008, the platform kept Kenyans current on vital information and provided invaluable assistance to those providing relief.
• Since then the Ushahidi Platform has grown into a large open-source project impacting a number of communities around the world.
• It was deployed in the DR Congo to monitor unrest.
• Al Jazeera used it to track violence in Gaza.
• It was used to help monitor the 2,009 Indian Elections.
• And to help gather reports globally about the recent Swine Flu outbreak.
• Anybody can contribute information. Whether itʼs a simple text message from a SMS-capable phone, a photo or video from a smartphone, or a report submitted online,
Ushahidi can gather information from any device with a digital data connection.
• After a report is submitted itʼs posted in near real-time to an interactive map that can be viewed on a computer or smartphone.
• But the most powerful feature the platform offers, is the ability to take the core application and deploy it yourself to suit your communityʼs needs. Since the Ushahidi Platform is open-source, anyone can improve the service in anyway they see ﬁt.
• Our growing community of developers are constantly at work improving Ushahidi to bring it to as many people as possible — including working to bring native applications
to todayʼs most popular mobile devices.
• With the Ushahidi Platform, itʼs easier than ever to get critical and timely information to those that need it most, on a platform that almost everybody can use.