Software company Ushahidi uses open source skills to help during Kenya mall siege

Ginny Skalski | | September 24, 2013

Ushahidi develops two tools to help

...Once Ushahidi team members found out they were all safe from the mall siege, they went to work figuring out how they could make their skills and tools useful during the crisis. Soon they mapped out all the blood drive center locations in Nairobi by deploying a Crowdmap , which is the hosted version of the open source Ushahidi Platform that quickly lets users map crowdsourced information.

This new Nairobi blood donation center map lets users quickly identify places to donate, see what blood types are in demand, and identify whether equipment or volunteers are needed at any locations. Among the goals of this map is to help ensure that when the Kenyan population comes out to donate blood, they’ll know which donation centers need their blood type.

But that's not all the Ushahidi did during the crisis. On day three of the siege the full team met (some in person, some virtually) and wireframed an entire tool designed to make it easy for people to check in with family and friends when disaster strikes to simply tell them they are OK. They’re calling it "Ping." For more details on how it works, check out the Ushahidi blog...