Crisis-mapping developers awarded grant

ORLANDO, Fla., May 7 (UPI) -- An open-source crisis-mapping Internet platform originally created by Ushahidi to track violence in Africa has received a grant for further development.

The non-profit Ushahidi announced it has received a $200,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to continue development of its crisis-mapping platform, Ushahidi reported.


The mobile-phone- and Internet-based platform is designed to collect citizen reports on crisis situations through use of a technique called crowd-sourcing. The Ushahidi platform, originally designed to track violence in Africa, has recently been used to track cases and locations of the swine flu.

Officials said Ushahidi is also releasing the open beta of its platform in a move to expand its crisis-information capabilities.

"This funding is a great measure of confidence in us as an organization," Ory Okolloh, Ushahidi executive director, said in a statement.

"We've already achieved so much in the past year, and we know the best is yet to come."

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