OpenROV envisioned a digital field journal for adventurers and citizen scientists - Ushahidi built it for them, inspiring a community to collaborate and explore together

OpenExplorer is a digital field journal. It's a way to share the different stages of your expedition - planning, underway and debriefing - with a community of people who share your enthusiasm.

It’s armchair adventurism at its best, updated for the 21st century, with updates streaming in from around the world.
Jeffrey Marlow, Wired Columnist

Having pioneered the use of maker tools for underwater discovery, OpenROV founders David Lang and Eric Stackpole wanted to give other DIY adventurers a public place to share their expeditions and work together.

They worked with Ushahidi to create OpenExplorer, a digital field journal that allows citizen explorers to log their trips and connect with collaborators and funders. Ushahidi built the site from the ground up, using our Crowdmap API to power the mapping, posting, and user management functionality.

Expeditions on OpenExplorer feature an interactive map, a geo-tagged timeline of journal entries, and the ability for users to follow and comment on expeditions.

Publicly launched in August 2014, OpenExplorer has had a fast global uptake. Expeditions as varied as tracking radiation runoff from Fukushima, studying blue whales in Sri Lanka, and documenting disused mines in England have been posted on the site.

Fulfilling the desire of its creators to encourage curiosity about our planet, OpenExplorer also widens the scope of citizen exploration from the sea to land, air, and ultimately the limits of its users’ imagination.


Expeditions created during launch day


Number of journal entries created


Number of users in first 3 months