Every iteration of the Ushahidi engine gets better, and it seems with every big release target we’re even more excited with what this platform can do. Today, we’re excited to announce our “Mogadishu” release of the software with the following major features (Download it here):

  • New CSS based design that is easier to skin!
  • 5 minute installer
  • Automatic version detection and upgrade
  • Themes
  • Site Statistics and Analytics
  • Admin email notifications on emails and comments
  • Add custom pages and tabs
  • Auto-Geotagged news feeds
  • Convert news feeds to reports
  • Layer KML/KMZ files on the map
  • Numerous bug fixes

KML/KMZ Data Overlays
You’ll note that you can now do multiple KML/KMZ file overlays onto a map with pre-existing Ushahidi data. The above map shows our demo Mogadishu site with a KML file of Somali pirate attacks.

Mogadishu release with pirate KML file overlay

If you’re running an Ushahidi instance, just jump into the new “stats” tab and you’ll be able to see the number of unique visitors, report statistics, country breakdown and category impact.

Ushahidi Statistics Tab

Custom designs and theming
There’s a new default look/feel for Ushahidi. We redid it from the ground up so that it would be a lot easier for anyone who wanted to customize the look and feel of the site could do so just by working with a CSS file. There are also some basic color themes included in the backend so that those who aren’t CSS-savvy can still brighten it up.

Ushahidi theming

An easier installer
One of the Achilles heels of any open source software application is the horrible experience installing it. We’ve taken our first step in making it even easier to do this on your own server. You have a choice of taking two paths when you begin, a basic one and a more detailed one. Whichever you choose, you can still fine-tune the details later once the site is up and going.

Ushahidi Installer - redone

Find a bug? Submit it to bugs.ushahidi.com
Have a question? Ask it on the forums
Want to pitch in? Start on the wiki or download the code

Major contributors

Projects like Ushahidi wouldn’t be where they are without the help of programmers who volunteer their time, brains and energy to solving some very difficult challenges. A BIG thanks goes out to all the devs who made this happen. Major contributors included:

Ushahidi Meetup 09 C from Ushahidi on Vimeo.