Sign In

Communications of the ACM

News

'Peace Technologies' Enable Eyewitness Reporting When Disasters Strike


aerial before and after views of Porta Farm, Zimbabwe

Ushahidi documented the demolition of settlements in Zimbabwe that the government claimed were illegal; human rights groups felt the demolitions were politically motivated. The before (left) and after photos (right) show how the settlement in Porta Farm, Zimbabwe, was completely erased.

Credit: Digital Globe Inc. / AAAS

When Kenyans went to the polls in late 2007, the voting results were disputed, and ethnically aligned gangs slaughtered more than 1,100 people during weeks of violent unrest. A national media blackout followed.

Within days, an ad hoc group of Kenyan bloggers and software developers created the first instantiation of the Ushahidi ("testimony" in Swahili) platform, enabling people to share instant reports of violent incidents—via video, audio, photos, texts, SMS, emails, Twitter, and Web forms—and to visualize them on a real-time online map, to keep communities informed of the danger.


Log in to Read the Full Article

Sign In

Sign in using your ACM Web Account username and password to access premium content if you are an ACM member, Communications subscriber or Digital Library subscriber.

Need Access?

Please select one of the options below for access to premium content and features.

Create a Web Account

If you are already an ACM member, Communications subscriber, or Digital Library subscriber, please set up a web account to access premium content on this site.

Join the ACM

Become a member to take full advantage of ACM's outstanding computing information resources, networking opportunities, and other benefits.
  

Subscribe to Communications of the ACM Magazine

Get full access to 50+ years of CACM content and receive the print version of the magazine monthly.

Purchase the Article

Non-members can purchase this article or a copy of the magazine in which it appears.
Sign In for Full Access
» Forgot Password? » Create an ACM Web Account
ACM Resources