Verifying Data by Adding Context

Can we improve the quality of crowd-sourced data by adding context? We think it’s a good place to start, this infographic explains how the SwiftRiver platform is being constructed to improve the data collection mechanisms in all Ushahidi’s family of products.

Welcome to the InfoWars

Being part of Ushahidi has given us a front row seat to what I like to term the “InfoWars“. A time when it seems like the fourth and fifth estates are pitted against the other three.

Mapping the Future of Cities & Education

What does real-time mapping with New York City public school kids look like? Recently, Digital Democracy was invited to work with 120 young people from all 5 boroughs as part of the Department of Education’s “Future Now” program. Having gone through the NY Public School system myself, I jumped at the opportunity to help them innovate. My task was to engage the kids in a conversation about what they’d like to see in the year 2020. Future Now is creating NYC’s Digital Storybook – a citywide youth project about school, community, and dreams.

7 (or more) questions to ask before adding ICTs

Josh's FLSMS Ushahidi DiagramDrawing by Josh Nesbit (Frontline SMS: Medic) and James Bon Tempo (Jhpiego) from an amazing brainstorming session in early Feb 2010.

When looking at integrating ICTs (Information and Communication Technology) into existing programs, or making an initiative go further or work better with ICTs, there is a lot to figure out before you even get started….

Crime-fighting tech

Although acoustic gunshot detectors, licence plates scanners, surveillance cameras maneuvered from in-car computers, and SMS update trending are impressive crime fighting tech tools, experts like the DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier stress that new tech alone is not enough--community involvement is necessary too.

Open sourcing data and flood mitigation

Photo credit: flickr/bass_nroll
We are saddened by news of the floods in Thailand over the weekend, which have already taken 70 lives (that we know of so far).

Artistic data

Picture of Aaron Koblin's airplane flight pattern (by flickr/Steve Rhodes)
Any social entrepreneur who has ever pitched an idea to a donor, or explained a service to a beneficiary knows the importance of good salesmanship: a great story, narrative, catchy graphic design materials, in short, an artistic representation of a concept.

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