2,528 crowdsourcing and crowdfunding sites
Nonprofit organization Ushahidi, which allows anyone to gather distributed data via text, email or web and visualize it on an interactive map, this Thursday accepted the 2012 “Anvil of Freedom” award from Denver University’s Estlow Center for Journalism and New Media.
“[The Anvil of Freedom] is a big honor to the Ushahidi team and community,” said Juliana Rotich, Ushahidi co-founder and executive director, who was on-hand to accept the award. It “underscores our mission to change the way information flows and to empower people to use whichever devices they have available to bear witness to what is going on around them.”
Ushahidi, which translates to “testimony” in Swahili, launched the citizen-powered website to map violent incidents after Kenya’s post-election fallout in early 2008. People submitted reports via the web or their mobile phones, and those reports were visualized on an interactive map. After acquiring 45,000 users in Kenya, Ushahidi released “Crowdmap,” a tool capable of crowdsourcing crisis information, election results, local resources and so on. If you can conceptualize it, a crowd can map it. [Photo: Wayne Armstrong]
Since 2008, Ushahidi and its users have crowdsourced crucial crisis information in Haiti, Japan, Mumbai, Libya and the Democratic Republic of Congo, among many others. Crowdmap also helped track swine flu cases across the world during that particular epidemic. There have been 20,000 deployments of the Ushahidi platform across 120 countries in total, noted Rotich.
The University of Denver’s Anvil of Freedom award honors organizations and individuals that demonstrate true leadership and commitment to democratic freedoms, ethics and integrity. Previous Anvil recipients include Free Press, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to reform the media, and Mona Eltahawy, a Muslim journalist.