(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 …

You might be wondering why the Director of Data Projects is writing code for the Ushahidi Platform.  I’d think that strange too, but as a good old-fashioned data scientist, I care very much about data sources, formats and access, and couldn’t pass up the chance to influence the ways that Ushahidi Platform imports and exports datasets and data summaries.

Let’s talk about data science.

Courtesy of http://alexbraunstein.com/

Data science is about understanding and …

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

Announcing Ushahidi v3.0.0-beta.2 release!

In line with our 2 week release cycle, we churn out yet another beta version of Ushahidi today, dubbed Ushahidi Platform v3.0.0-beta.2.

This release is NOT ready for production, and remains largely a developer release. However, you can get a sneak peek of what we currently have on our demo site.

What’s changed?

A few improvements have been made since our first beta release

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 …