We Choose to do What is Hard

As I reflect back on the Ushahidi’s first 6 years, I realize that they have been an education in many ways, but possibly the most important lesson is that it is important to do what is hard. To work on things that are more big and difficult than what most people are willing to attempt. […]

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Crowdsourcing & The Internet of Things

Crowdsourcing, the idea of soliciting information from citizens and relying on their participation to achieve certain goals is almost 10 years old. We ourselves, have been building products that allow users to collect, curate and visualize information since 2008, relying solely on the power of the masses. In the last few years, internet enabled sensing […]

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Data Is For Telling Stories

This image is the most important of my professional life. It depicts Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812, with the width of the line representing the size of his army and the two line colors marking the attack and retreat. It was created by Charles Joseph Minard using casualty data recorded during the campaign.

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Here’s To The Humanitarians

At Ushahidi, we love humanitarians. Over the years we’ve had the privilege of helping thousands of humanitarians around the globe — from crisismapping after the earthquake in Haiti to documenting humanitarian projects in East Timor. Our mission as an organization has been shaped, for the better, through our core goal of helping humanitarians gather, manage, understand, and […]

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Crowdsourcing and Consumer Rights Advocacy?

Question: Is there an opportunity to use Crowdsourcing technology to figure out where consumers are being let down by brands or outright being lied to? Could Crowdsourcing play a role in the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts of companies vis a vis engagement? Some reports point to research on this very question: When asked why […]

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A peek into current coding affairs and other mysteries

Over the last few days, we have been rewriting the section of the platform that deals with the map + timeline on the main page. While on the refactoring rampage, a few neurons went off and implanted some thoughts which I’d like to share. However, before indulging you with those, here is a primer of […]

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Addressing concerns about Liberia’s election instance

The Ushahidi Liberia team received a comment from Timo Luege on our recent elections post that raised concerns and criticisms about the elections instance. We thought it might be helpful to share our responses here, in hopes of providing more context for an instance that Timo describes in his blog post as “a failure”. We […]

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Old war, new peace and what it takes to send a text in Liberia

Last week, I traveled across the country with Liberia’s Peacebuilding Office (PBO)  to train county peace committees how to report to the Ushahidi platform. Last night, as we were driving into the sleepy oceanside town of Buchanan, I was reminded of why it is important that these peace committees now exist.  My colleague Nat Walker […]

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Democratizing Data Science

We like to say that our mission with the SwiftRiver project is to democratize access to the tools used for understanding information. To me that means taking the hard-work out of drawing insight from excessive quantities of data, to help humans process things more efficiently. That’s why it was huge honor to announce the SwiftRiver […]

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