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Ushahidi is an open-source platform for collecting and visualizing information about crisis situations.
Ushahidi is a nonprofit and received seed funding from the international nonprofit Humanity United and a grant through the Knight News Challenge and the Omidyar Network. As of 2012, its primary source of funding remained foundation grant funding.
Ushahidi allows users to submit reports via phone, email, text message or Twitter. Those reports can then be collected and mapped through Ushahidi’s platform and used for relief efforts, humanitarian aid or journalistic reports. In 2010, the group developed SwiftRiver, a tool to further sort and prioritize that information. It has also developed Crowdmap, a cloud-based version of the Ushahidi service.
The site has been used to map various events in the developing world, including the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, election monitoring in India and violent incidents in Pakistan. The Arabic-language television network Al Jazeera used Ushahidi to track conflict in Gaza in 2009. The platform has been suggested as a way for news organizations to use crowdsourcing to track large-scale crises, as well as slow-developing but wide-ranging stories.
The Batavian is an online local news organization run by Howard Owens in Batavia, N.Y. The site was launched in May 2008 by the newspaper chain GateHouse Media as an experiment in online-only local journalism. Owens, who helped start the site as a GateHouse executive, left the company to take the Batavian over in February…