We’re often asked how to use various SMS providers and Ushahidi together. Anahi Ayala Iaccuci created a full Ushahidi Administration Guide with a whole section on using SMS with Ushahidi. We want to make it easier for people to use these tools. This means improving existing resources with participation of our community. Each SMS to Map project builds knowledge and best practices. Sharing can inform more SMSMap initiatives.
FrontlineSMS and Ushahidi are both free and open source platforms that have been used around the world by individuals and organizations with goals of citizen inclusion, information collection and social change. FrontlineSMS converts a computer, connected to a GSM modem or mobile phone, into a two-way communications system which enables users to send, receive and manage text messages. Linking an SMS report to an Ushahidi map or a Crowdmap does require an Internet connection, sending an SMS message does not. With mobile access, SMS reports can be sent to an Ushahidi or Crowdmap instance. FrontlineSMS enables people to submit reports to a textable number. This makes it possible for people to contribute content to an online map even if they are not connected to the Internet.
Last fall we joined our friends at FrontlineSMS for SMSMap: Two cities, One event. The events were held in Nairobi, Kenya and London, UK. One of the main requests of attendees was that we create more resources on how to use FrontlineSMS and Ushahidi together.
Using FrontlineSMS and Ushahidi
WIki Page on How to Set-up FrontlineSMS and Ushahidi
As people use SMS and Maps together, they have a wealth of tips, changes and best practices. We encourage collaboration to hack this wiki page with your feedback and details.
How to Set-up FrontlineSMS and Ushahidi (PDF)
We’ve also created the documentation, Ushahidi and FrontlineSMS Set-Up Guide (PDF format), for your use.
We’d like to thank the FrontlineSMS team (Florence Scialom, Laura Hudson and Amy O’Donnell) and their amazing graphic designer volunteer Megan Goldshine. We’d also like to thank Anahi Ayala Iaccuci and Linda Raftree for their leadership and feedback.
We look forward to providing new versions with your input.