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WeGov

As Prop, Cudgel or Sensor, Digital Maps Have a Future in Global Activism

BY Lisa Goldman | Wednesday, January 16 2013

Screenshot from sahelresponse.org

Over the past five years, mapping has become an indispensable part of our daily lives, whether it is used for commercial purposes or crisis management. While some development workers and community organizers feel it is overhyped as a tool for certain types of crisis management, crisis workers and aid agencies find it indispensable. Read More

WeGov

In Egypt, Digital Maps Start a Conversation About Harassment that Continues In the Street

BY Lisa Goldman | Friday, November 30 2012

Screenshot from Harassmap.org

Several months before the Egyptian revolution, a group of Cairo-based volunteers launched Harassmap, an Ushahidi-based interactive map that provides a visualization of reported sexual harassment incidents. Two years later, the organization has grown and secured its funding. But what role has mapping played in their community outreach work? Read More

WeGov

Crisis Tracker: An Open Source Map that Curates Crowdsourced Information

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, November 1 2012

An open source map mines data from Twitter, curates it and presents it with an Ushahidi-like interface. Read More

WeGov

Ushahidi and the Long Tail of Mapping for Social Change

BY David Eaves | Monday, July 9 2012

What makes a mapping project successful? Image: Trafficking map Epawa SMS

A new website called DeadUshahidi launched recently with the express purpose of tracking Ushahidi mapping projects that experienced little use. While the Ushahidi team responded in good form, but it was hard not to see the website as a shot across its bow.

David Eaves explores why there are so many Ushahidi-powered mapping projects that appear to have fallen by the wayside — and why that might actually be a good thing for people who want to use geospatial data for social change.

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The Europe Roundup: Cybercrime in the UK, Ushahidi in Serbia, Big Data in Norway

BY Antonella Napolitano | Friday, February 10 2012

Photo: Ian Muttoo / Flickr

New anti-cybercrime units in the UK, Ushahidi deployed to track incidents related to severe weather in Greece and Serbia, and a fascinating animation from Norway based on migration data, all in today's roundup of news about technology in politics from around Europe. Read More

Does a Google-World Bank Deal On Crowdsourcing Ask Too Much of the Crowd?

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, February 2 2012

Should the commons improve Google's data on the developing world? Photo: ToastyKen

A World Bank representative will meet with global transparency advocates and digital mapmakers to discuss a controversial geodata deal with Google it announced in mid-January, according to an official at the bank.

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How to Tell if Someone On Twitter Is Really a Dog

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, November 30 2011

Patrick Meier of Ushahidi — now Patrick Meier, Ph.D, of course — has released a 20-plus-page study on strategies for verifying information online. From the abstract: Crowdsourced information can provide rapid ... Read More

The 'Mic Check' And the Occupiers' Protest Framework

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, November 17 2011

Watch the live video feeds coming from Occupy Wall Street demonstrations in lower Manhattan today and you'll hear, over and over again, a refrain that has come to define the movement: "Mic check!" What began as a way for ... Read More

Occupy Wall Street's Situational Awareness

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, November 17 2011

Occupy Wall Street's tech team has produced this, a scalable Ushahidi map that now hosts reports on the ground from the protesters' ongoing actions in and around Wall Street. It aggregates emailed reports, web-submitted ... Read More

The Europe Roundup: Ushahidi-Based Websites Spread to Fight Corruption

BY Antonella Napolitano | Thursday, September 15 2011

Bulgaria | shahidi-Based Websites Spread to Fight Corruption Several Eastern Europe countries are struggling for democracy and transparency; Bulgaria is one of the most involved in the process. Transparency ... Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed tuesday >

Ruck.us Reboots As a Candidate Digital Toolkit That's a Bit Too Like Democracy.com

Ruck.us launched with big ambitions and star appeal, hoping to crack the code on how to get millions of people to pool their political passions through their platform. When that ambition stalled, its founder Nathan Daschle--son of the former Senator--decided to pivot to offering political candidates an easy-to-use free web platform for organizing and fundraising. Now the new Ruck.us is out from stealth mode, entering a field already being served by competitors like NationBuilder, Salsa Labs and Democracy.com. And strangely enough, Ruck.us seems to want its early users to ask Democracy.com for help. GO

Armenian Legislators: You Can Be As Anonymous on the 'Net As You Like—Until You Can't

A proposed bill in Armenia would make it illegal for media outlets to include defamatory remarks by anonymous or fake sources, and require sites to remove libelous comments within 12 hours unless they identify the author.

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monday >

The Good Wife Looks for the Next Snowden and Outwits the NSA

Even as the real Edward Snowden faces questions over his motives in Russia, another side of his legacy played out for the over nine million viewers of last night's The Good Wife, which concluded its season long storyline exploring NSA surveillance. In the episode titled All Tapped Out, one young NSA worker's legal concerns lead him to becoming a whistle-blower, setting off a chain of events that allows the main character, lawyer Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), and her husband, Illinois Governor Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), to turn the tables on the NSA using its own methods. GO

The Expanding Reach of China's Crowdsourced Environmental Monitoring Site, Danger Maps

Last week billionaire businessman Jack Ma, founder of the e-commerce company Alibaba, appealed to his “500 million-strong army” of consumers to help monitor water quality in China. Inexpensive testing kits sold through his company can be used to measure pH, phosphates, ammonia, and heavy metal levels, and then the data can be uploaded via smartphone to the environmental monitoring site Danger Maps. Although the initiative will push the Chinese authorities' tolerance for civic engagement and activism, Ethan Zuckerman has high hopes for “monitorial citizenship” in China.

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The 13 Worst Bits of Russia's Current and Maybe Future Internet Legislation

It appears that Russia is on the brink of passing still more repressive Internet regulations. A new telecommunications bill that would require popular blogs—those with 3,000 or more visits a day—to join a government registry and conform to government-mandated standards is expected to pass this week. What follows is a list of the worst bits of both proposed and existing Russian Internet law. Let us know in the comments or on Twitter if we missed anything.

GO

Transparency and Public Shaming: Pakistan Tackles Tax Evasion

In Pakistan, where only one in 200 citizens files their income tax return, authorities published a directory of taxpayers' details for the first time. Officials explained the decision as an attempt to shame defaulters into paying up.

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wednesday >

Facebook Seeks Approval as Financial Service in Ireland. Is the Developing World Next?

On April 13 the Financial Times reported that Facebook is only weeks away from being approved as a financial service in Ireland. Is this foray into e-money motivated by Facebook's desire to conquer the developing world before other corporate Internet giants do? Maybe.

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The Rise and Fall of Iran's “Blogestan”

The robust community of Iranian bloggers—sometimes nicknamed “Blogestan”—has shrunk since its heyday between 2002 – 2010. “Whither Blogestan,” a recent report from the University of Pennsylvania's Iran Media Program sought to find out how and why. The researchers performed a web crawling analysis of Blogestan, survey 165 Persian blog users, and conducted 20 interviews with influential bloggers in the Persian community. They found multiple causes of the decline in blogging, including increased social media use and interference from authorities.

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