Today, Ushahidi’s Jonathon Morgan was invited onto the new Bellingcat podcast to discuss how you can use CrisisNET to get your hands on crisis-relevant data. Bellingcat is the latest project of Elliot Higgins, working to use advanced citizen journalism techniques to report on under-reported stories. Using our CrisisNET platform, it is possible to get your hands on the same social media data Elliot Higgins uses in his investigative journalism. …

(Note: This post is cross-posted from SciDev.Net who recorded this interview with Chris Albon, Director of Crisis.NET, an Ushahidi initiative.)

Q&A: How open-source tools can help map crisis data By Imogen Mathers

In this podcast, we talk to Chris Albon, director of the global crisis data arm of Ushahidi, an open-source data mapping organisation that originated in Nairobi, Kenya.

Albon explains how Ushahidi software can be tailored to track data in …

Inspired by recent technical posts by the Ushahidi Platform team, we’re running a series of posts for software engineers and product developers detailing how the CrisisNET platform is put together. Contact us on Twitter to find out how you can get involved.

We’re taking the world’s crisis data and making it accessible in a simple, intuitive, firehose of real-time information. In building the first version of the CrisisNET platform, we were most interested …

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa has been spiraling out of control for months, though it has been largely underreported in the international press. With the recent news that three Americans had been infected, one in Nigeria and two who have been transported back to the United States for treatment, we decided to capitalize on the increased global attention.

Using data from the World Health Organization we analyzed the movement of the

Man with a rocket, from Facebook via CrisisNET

Is it possible to find crisis data in the chaos of social media? Which of the 50 million Facebook pages will help you understand a conflict? Can you prove chemical weapons use from watching YouTube?

We did.

Following up on the partnership between CrisisNET and open data journalist Eliot Higgins, I’ll be doing an Ignite talk at OSCON this Sunday. If you haven’t experienced an …

I met with Martin Burt, the Executive Director and founder of Fundacion Paraguaya a few days ago and he said two things that left me contemplative. The first was that poverty is an emergency, and the second was that perhaps the most important factor in achieving something is a belief that you can.

Consider the first point. The widely accepted understanding of an emergency is something that is urgent and needs to be addressed immediately. At …

Facebook is quickly becoming the richest available source of real-time crisis reporting. Using CrisisNET we’ve been monitoring over 2,000 public Facebook pages focused on Middle East conflict since we launched the platform earlier this month. While data from these pages isn’t always perfect, it’s proven to be an invaluable resource for understanding conflict as it happens on the ground.

Knowledge from the Noise

Traditional, curated reporting data …

At Ushahidi, we love helping people turn data into social impact. We’ve helped thousands of users gather and manage crowdsourced data during everything from natural disasters to political revolutions. When Ushahidi was founded in 2008, our tools provided a rare and valuable source of crisis-relevant data to citizens, policy makers, and responders. Since then, we’ve watched the volume and variety of crisis data go from a trickle to a flood.

We are proud to …

The excitement around big data for social good is palpable, and its capacity for change is enormous. However, in order to realize this capacity the humanitarian community needs to embrace a fundamental shift in the relationship between data and crisis.

Insights from massive datasets have revolutionized economics, marketing, transportation, and other for-profit industries, but crisis data gathering and analysis remains as fractured and chaotic as the disrupted communities it attempts to serve. Collecting information about …

(Guest post by Taha Kass-Hout and Hend Alhinnawi from Humanitarian Trackerwhich is a non-profit global forum that connects and empowers citizens using innovation in technology to support humanitairan causes. Taha serves as Founder and CEO, and Hend the Co-Founder and COO of Humanitarian Tracker) Humanitarian Tracker (HT), a volunteer-based non-profit organization, has been crowdsourcing information from Syria over the past 3 years.  As you’ve all heard by now, 14 years after its eradication, Polio has re-emerged in Syria. What you didn’t hear was that several reports from the ground were received and published by Syria Tracker, a project of HT, weeks before it became mainstream.