Introducing CrisisNET

Chris R. Albon | Ushahidi | June 9, 2014

At Ushahidi, we love helping people turn data into social impact. We’ve helped thousands of users gather and manage crowdsourced data during everything from natural disasters to political revolutions. When Ushahidi was founded in 2008, our tools provided a rare and valuable source of crisis-relevant data to citizens, policy makers, and responders. Since then, we’ve watched the volume and variety of crisis data go from a trickle to a flood.

We are proud to see crowdsourced crisis data become a part of journalism, policy discussions, activism, and research today — proud to have been a part of this crisis data revolution. As daily users of this crisis data, however, we’ve been increasingly struggling with an expensive problem: while crisis data exists, makers don’t have the resources required to clean and format the it quickly in the middle of fast moving crises.

The incredible power of crisis relevant data — from Facebook posts about Syria to UNHCR’s data feed on refugees — remains locked away behind under-documented APIs and obscure formats.