Patrick Meier: Why Ushandi Should Embrace Open Data

Patrick Meier

Patrick Meier

Why Ushahidi Should Embrace Open Data

“This is the report that Ushahidi did not want you to see.” Or so the rumors in certain circles would have it. Some go as far as suggesting that Ushahidi tried to burry or delay the publication. On the other hand, some rumors claim that the report was a conspiracy to malign and discredit Ushahidi. Either way, what is clear is this: Ushahidi is an NGO that prides itself in promoting transparency & accountability; an organization prepared to take risks—and yes fail—in the pursuit of this  mission. In order to live up to this commitment, any analysis of the organizaion should be open for the public to read and discuss.

The report in question is CrowdGlobe: Mapping the Maps. A Meta-level Analysis of Ushahidi & Crowdmap. Astute observers will discover that I am indeed one of the co-authors. Published by Internews in collaboration with George Washington University, the report (PDF) reveals that 93% of 12,000+ Crowdmaps analyzed had fewer than 10 reports while a full 61% of Crowdmaps had no reports at all. The rest of the findings are depicted in the infographic below (click to enlarge) and eloquently summarized in the above 5-minute presentation delivered at the 2012 Crisis Mappers Conference (ICCM 2012).

Read full article with video and infographic.

Phi Beta Iota:  This is a good start — and applause for moral high ground. Now take it a step further — no one or two opens will do by themselves. We have to go “all in” across all the opens. Open cloud, open hardware, open software, open spectrum, open standards. See the list (preliminary) and the manifesto at http://tinyurl.com/OSE-LIST