Checkins (CI) Experimental Functionality

As we announced in January, we are working on a new checkins feature. We are really excited about simplifying the reporting process for those situations where you don’t need a full blown report. The checkins functionality in the Ushahidi Platform is one of the first open source checkin products that crosses multiple mobile platforms.

We’ve been hard at work laying out the basic functionality ahead of SXSW and it’s now available for your deployment in the Ushahidi Repository on GitHub and is already active on Crowdmap.

So, you want to give this a shot and enable checkins on your own deployment?
1. You either need to install the latest version of the code base from the repo if you are hosting the Ushahidi Platform yourself or if you are on Crowdmap, simply login to your admin panel.
2. Go to your site settings and set your timezone to UTC and scroll to the bottom and enable checkins.
3. It’s not over yet! Go to the Addons tab and then the Themes subtab and enable the “CI Cumulus”. In future versions, enabling checkins won’t involve so many steps.

Okay, now checkins are enabled on your deployment but how do you and users of your deployment perform a checkin? You need to checkin using one of the mobile applications.

The iPhone application is available in the app store now. You can get it from the App Store and the Android app can be downloaded from the Android Marketplace. The Android app is still getting a final coat of polish so it may be a few days before the update including checkins will be made available.

You also have to option to enable checkins via a mobile edition of your site using the MobileCI Plugin. By enabling this plugin, you change the mobile experience of your site so that users are presented with a form to perform their checkin.

When you configure your mobile app with your deployment, it will automatically detect that checkins are available and will open up new functionality in your app.

Keep in mind that this functionality is still in early development but we wanted to give everyone a taste of what’s coming. We are alpha testing the functionality on a SXSW deployment on Crowdmap at sxsw.crowdmap.com. Post your suggestions and feedback right here on the blog!

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