<-- Advertise here.

Ushahidi [ushahidi.com] is a non-profit tech company that develops free and open source software for information collection, visualization and interactive mapping. "Ushahidi" means "testimony" in Swahili. It was also the title of a website that mapped reports of violence in Kenya after the post-election fallout at the beginning of 2008. Accordingly, its slogan is "Changing the World - One Map at the Time". Therefore, Ushahidi aims to empower organizations and people all over the world to increase public awareness around social events like elections, local crises or resources. It provides free and open access to tools that facilitate the aggregation, presentation and mapping of relevant datasets online. For instance, check the "Syria Tracker" website here.

The platform has been deployed in the DR Congo to monitor unrest, Al Jazeera used it to track violence in Gaza, and it helped monitor the 2009 Indian Elections. Not surprisingly, Ushahidi also won the (Red) Webby Award 2011 for social innovation.

For data collection, Ushahidi proposes SwiftRiver, a platform that helps people make sense of a large body of information. The visual presentation of this data is accomplished through the so-called Ushahidi Platform, which provides an interactive map and timeline, and is able to connect to real-time data streams such as email, Twitter or web-forms. The most powerful feature is CrowdMap, which offers the ability to download the core application and deploy it independently, for instance to suit a community's needs.

See also Visualizing Information for Advocacy and Mapping Elections in Zimbabwe.