Guest post from Craig Lockwood, sharing his experience using Ushahidi as a checkin platform for the The Cardiff Design Festival.

I came across Ushahidi a few months ago and made a mental bookmark, ‘This may be useful one day’ I told myself.

Within just a few days I found myself working on a project that could potentially benefit from the Ushahidi feature set. The Cardiff Design Festival wanted to create a user generated design trail – the perfect reason for me to play with Ushahidi.

After first installing the Ushahdi platform on my localserver it soon became apparent that Ushahidi would be perfect for the job, albeit after a few custom tweaks. I decided to go with the Checkins scheme as opposed to the much more advanced Reporting scheme. Within just a few hours I had the basis of a functional ‘Design Trail’ web app.

Next up was iPhone app integration. The guys (Dale in particular) at Ushahidi have done a great job in making the white label source code available via GitHub. A few days of UI tweaking and a bit of design work and the Design Trail was good to go (www.thedesigntrail.co.uk). Some of these tweaks have been integrated into the general Ushahidi iPhone app.

The Design Trail app has been a huge success and has inspired me to push the development a little further. v1.1 has now been released with a few tweaks and iOS5 compatibility.

I have been amazed at the power and rich feature list of the Ushahidi platform and I haven’t even scratched the surface yet. As well as creating some custom web app templates, I also have a few ideas which I would love to build into a v2 app in the not too distant future.

Now I just need to find the time…

Feel free to use graphics from the site (www.thedesigntrail.co.uk) and screenshots from the app if required.

- Craig