When the Ushahidi platform was written as an open source project in 2008, the vision was to have a platform that any individual or organization could easily deploy in any situation. While providing the software for free to anyone to install on their own servers has worked well so far, we have realized that there was a need to rapidly deploy Ushahidi without any required technical acumen in the shortest amount of time possible. The answer to this challenge has been Crowdmap.
Crowdmap is a service provided by Ushahidi with all the benefits of Ushahidi out of the box but with nothing to install. It takes all of five minutes to get a vanilla deployment up and running on crowdmap.com subdomain. You will have full administrative access to your deployment, just as you would if you installed it yourself. You will have the ability to choose themes, edit categories, solicit reports, just as you would if you had a server administrator get your deployment up and running. Crowdmap will even accept SMS reports from FrontlineSMS or your Clickatell account.
Setting up a deployment is easy. All it takes to get started is filling out a simple form with your password, a valid subdomain, name and tagline for your deployment and you’re good to go. After your site is setup, you log into your deployment and begin making modifications. When you are ready to start a second deployment, it’s just a matter of logging into your Crowdmap account at crowdmap.com and clicking on “New Deployment”.
The functionality we have written to run Crowdmap is baked into the core Ushahidi code and we will be offering it as a standard component of your future Ushahidi downloads. You will be able to take Ushahidi and host your own deployments soon!
We are really excited to see what you all come up with using Crowdmap. Being able to rapidly deploy will give you opportunities to try things you wouldn’t normally have tried. We know you all will get out there and do awesome things with Crowdmap. Go ahead and give it a go!