The Ushahidi Platform – for mapping disasters & acts of violence

“Ushahidi”, which means “testimony” or “witness” in Swahili, was initially developed to map reports of violence in Kenya after elections in early 2008. Since then, the name “Ushahidi” has come to represent the people behind the “Ushahidi Platform”.

The original platform was used to map incidents of violence and peace efforts throughout the country based on reports submitted via the web and mobile phones by around 45,000 users in Kenya.

Subsequent to the Kenya violence the founders of Ushahidi realized that a platform like this could be used by people from around the world.

And it has indeed been used by others including during the earthquake and flood relief effort in Pakistan. The tools have been used for democratizing information, increasing transparency and lowering the barriers for individuals to share their stories.

It comprises of Free Open Source software which is downloadable from the website and is released under the GNU Lesser General Public License. )LGPL)

The Ushahidi platform provides the ability to visualize information through Interactive Mapping tools. It also allows you to track your reports on the map and over time. You can filter your data by time and then see when things happened and where, as it”s also tied to the map. It allows you to easily collect information via text messages, email, twitter and web-forms. A perfect way to crowdsource information and share it so that duplication of efforts and supplies does not take place and emergency efforts are made much more efficient.

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This platform has been used by many organizations including PakRelief for incident reporting during the floods and Harassmap to map incidents of violence against women in Egypt

What is the Ushahidi Platform? from Ushahidi on Vimeo.

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