Weekly: Typhoon Yolanda Relief, Hackathons and Software releases

    Angela Oduor Lungati
    Nov 15, 2013

    Deployment of the week

    This week, we recognise the efforts of the team at Volontaires internationaux en soutien aux opérations virtuelles (VISOV), who are crowdsourcing images of destruction and aid deployment in the wake of the Typhoon Yolanda in Philippines. This deployment, much like all other efforts being ran out there, will go a long way in helping to alleviate the suffering of the Filipino people. Typhoon Haiyan

    In the News

    Typhoon Yolanda

    Over the past week, digital humanitarians from across the globe have come together to help people affected by the Typhoon Yolanda. Here is a list of current crisis deployments that need help(thanks to OpenCrisis.org)

    Typhoon Yolanda:

    Rappler looking for people to process reports (added 2013-11-14)

    Philippines Typhoon: Tomnod needs help tagging aerial images of damage (added 2013-11-11)

    Info4Disasters are mapping which local media are active - contact Anahi (skype: anahiii) or Donna (skype: weberdlee) (added 2013-11-14)

    Philippines cell signal mapping - contact Kenny Meester (skype: k.meesters) (added 2013-11-14)

    Philippines Typhoon: Humanitarian OpenStreetMap needs help mapping areas in Philippines (added 2013-11-10)

    Typhoon Yolanda maps and volunteer efforts

    Info4Disasters mapping which local media are active in Philippines (added 2013-11-14)

    Previous deployments

    We've also seen some google crisis maps and google person finder deployments as well. Early results of the Micromappers response can also be found here. Even as we figure out what ways to help as digital humanitarians, we need to draw lessons to improve on disaster response. Andrej Verity wrote an excellent piece on how emergency response can change within the next few years, and what role technology plays in this transformation. Read it here.

    Verification Handbook launched

    The European Journalism Centre just launched a dedicated website for the Verification Handbook, a groundbreaking new resource for journalists and aid providers, offering step-by-step guidelines on how to deal with user-generated content (UGC) during emergencies. The initiative is supported by the Dutch Ministry, the African Media Initiative, UNHCR, UNDP and UNAOC to name a few.

    This free-of-charge handbook will be released on Tuesday, 28 January 2014.

    MAVC Global Competition Launched

    Today, the Making All Voices Count team launched the Global Innovation Competition!

    £65,000 to the winner. £35,000 each to the two runner-ups and seven £5,000 prizes.

    Hosted annually, this competition will tackle a different problem each year in the citizen to government feedback loop in order to improve government performance. It is unique through a crowdsourcing and peer review process and the fact that all finalists will receive expert mentoring by our Jury upon arrival in Nairobi for the Global Innovation Week starting on March 31, 2014. For more information on the criteria, click here. To learn more about the GIC and to submit your idea/concept, check out: http://ideas.makingallvoicescount.org/


    ICCM and pre-conference training day

    In just a few days, hundreds of crisis mappers will convene in Nairobi for the 5th Annual International Conference for Crisis Mappers.   Hoping you can join in on the pre-conference training day on the 19th of November!

    Hackathons for yolanda

    There's a bunch of hackathons happening this weekend to figure help out folks in the Philippines. Have a look at GeekList


    Job hunting?

    Translators without borders are looking for a kenya based project manager. A detailed job description is available here.

    FrontlineSMS also have a bunch of job and internship openings. Have a look!

    Into the Code

    Ushahidi v3

    Here's an update on what the v3 team has been working on in the lead up to the beta release in a few weeks.

    Robbie has been wiring up the post edit UI, which turned out to be a fairly length task. There are still a number of glitches that he needs to fix before merging in.

    The Login/Registration/Authorization module is set to handle errors a little more gracefully

    As we continue to build out 3.0, everyone contributing will need to sign contributor license agreements. They are being drawn up, based on Apache CLAs. Here's a look at the individual one, and more info on our wiki page on licenses.

    More documentation is also being made available, in particular, revolving around release processes.

    In the next week or two, the following will be the focus:

    Get post edit cleaned up and merged

    Handle errors in login/register UI

    Add current user API calls to get logged in user info

    Use the new API call to wire up frontend with current user, and show/hide things based on access

    Update install instructions with all the awesome feedback we've gotten.

    If you missed out on the v3 Nairobi meet up, here's a run down of how it went, as well as the community demo discussion.


    Did you miss our API walkthrough with Evan and David? Not to fret, we recorded it :). For tips on what steps to take in order to build an app on our extensive API, have a look. API documentation is available here. We'd be happy to hear about hear about app ideas, so feel free to get in touch with us!


    We just released a new version of SMSSync. Here's a run down of what to expect:-

    Added log viewer feature.

    Added ability to configure different format for the sync scheme.

    Added Basic HTTP Auth to Sync URL.

    Updated Ukrainian strings.

    Fixed issue with task check not working when there is no secret key set.

    Fixed a lot of internal bugs.

    You can head over to the App Store and take it for a spin. Rock on!