Our Blog

Product updates, user stories, and thoughts about our work

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 …

“How’s your summer going?” I have been asked this question countless times from friends, family, and former colleagues since landing in Nairobi four weeks ago. This open-ended inquiry is usually followed up with, “What’s Ushahidi like and how are the people?” While I cannot claim to be an expert, the last month working in the Ushaverse (the collection of enterprises and initiatives launched by Erik Hersman, Juliana Rotich, David Kobia, and others) has provided me …

(Cross posted from Invested Development)

Ushahidi spinout BRCK Inc. announced today that it has closed a $1.2 million seed round. BRCK is solving last-mile connectivity problems with a device that can bring seamless internet connection to the most remote areas of the world.

Invested Development, an early stage impact investor, led the round for the Nairobi-based technology startup. Invested Development, Omvestments, Urban.us, Cheryl Heller and Gary Scheft …

This post is the first in a series of articles that will be devoted to explaining the Ushahidi Platform at a technical level for programmers and deployers.

One of the fundamental changes in version 3 of the Ushahidi Platform is a movement towards “clean architecture”. The concept of design patterns and system design has been part of programming for over 40 years, but many projects, both open and closed source, fail to completely realize the …

On Thursday I traveled an hour out of Asuncion, Paraguay to a small town called Cerrito where I spent the day learning about Fundacion Paraguaya’s financially self-sufficient school. Since we are developing V3 of the Ushahidi platform with Fundacion Paraguaya as a partner and deployer of the product, I wanted to get a stronger understanding of all their initiatives to understand their technology needs and how we can help the most. …

We are very excited to announce early funding for Gearbox! The Lemelson Foundation, the world’s leading funder of invention in service of social and economic change, will be an early funder for Gearbox: Kenya’s first open maker space for design and rapid prototyping. Gearbox is the newest member of the Ushahidi family, formed through a partnership with iHUB, BRCK, SanergyMobius Motors, Knowable, and MIT. …

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 …

(Guest post by Heidi Ellis Professor and Chair of the Computer Science and Information Technology department at Western New England University. She has a long-time interest in computing education and has been supporting student participation in open source software since 2006 and has been PI or Co-PI on three NSF-funded grants in this area. Heidi also writes about students and open source at http://heidiellis.wordpress.com/)

The end of May saw another successful group of faculty members come …

It’s not everyday that you get the opportunity to run a marathon alongside The Big Five (Kenya’s infamous gang of lions, elephants, leopards, rhinos, and cape buffalo)—but this weekend was a rare exception. On Friday, a caravan of employees from Ushahidi, BRCK, and the iHub piled into Land Rovers and headed north to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. Lewa Downs is home to the annual Safaricom Marathon and Half Marathon, a punishing yet stunningly …