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What is Ushahidi 3.x?

Ushahidi is an open source web application for information collection, visualization and interactive mapping. It helps you to collect info from: SMS, Twitter, RSS feeds, Email. It helps you to process that information, categorize it, geo-locate it and publish it on a map.

Ushahidi has had the same platform code base for 5 years. In 2012 we spent the time to do very deep user experience research within our user base, our developer base, and our own team in order to build a new, better Ushahidi core platform. We call it "v3".

Ushahidi 3.x is the next iteration of this tool, rebuilt from the ground up -- not only the code but the way in which we think about users interacting with mobile and social data.

Crowdsourcing strategies have come a long way in the five years Ushahidi has been around and we've been fortunate enough to learn a lot from our global community.

Why? Ushahidi 2.x works, why rebuild?

  1. The bugs.. Ushahidi 2.x has been hard to maintain, some of the early foundation work was a bit shaky, and has thrown up many bugs.
  2. The use case has changed (Grown!) - Ushahidi 2.x was built to map reports of violence in Kenya after the post-election fallout at the beginning of 2008. Now its used to monitor elections, track pollution, report corruption, manage disaster response/recovery and much more.
    Uses have grown beyond just a simple crisis mapping tool to a full fledged management platform for crowdsourced data. With this in mind, we decided to build a  more versatile tool that can be easily configured for data collection and visualization. 
    The  purpose of v3 (The next generation of the platform) is to provide a  better crowdsourcing platform, so that the leaders, crisis responders, funders, and decision making organizations can do their work more efficiently, gather better information, and understand what’s happening  on the ground. It is a data collection platform that makes gathering and organizing data easy. It is a mobile first platform, as always, thinking of people with simple phones and moving up to those with web access for a beautiful visual feel.
  3. Our framework needs an upgrade. Ushahidi 2.x is built on Kohana 2.3.. a now out of date, unsupported framework. The upgrade path to Kohana 3.3 almost requires a full rewrite anyway.
    Key Improvements:
    - V3 is designed to support all types of social good activities, not simply crises.
    - Mobile first, responsive user interface.
    - Fully customizable theme
    - A new keyword system allowing for incoming data to be tagged and organized with ease.
    - New workspaces for team and crowdsourced collaboration within the platform.

Should I use Ushahidi 3.x for my new project?

Sorry, not yet.. Probably in 2014. There is a developer release available, more info available here

I'd love to say you should, but right now its not complete, do join us to extend its capabilities.

I'm a developer, should I contribute to Ushahidi 3.x?

Maybe.. We're still in heavy development, many architecture questions haven't been answered yet, many that have will still change.
If you just want to fix a few bugs, or build a prototype on Ushahidi.. you're probably better helping out on Ushahidi 2.x right now.
If you're keen to help build something awesome, and happy to get deep into the core workings.. then yes. Jump on board..

 

See also: 3.0 Blog posts

 

 

  1. Hi, I really don't understand the scope of Ushahidi V3. What is the NEW Ushahidi, it is a SAAS architecture? Will I be abble to update Ushahidi V2 to V3? Social by design? I can't find any document about this, please help me. Thanks.

  2. Hi Martin, V3 is entirely a different code base, We are working on a migration path so you can export data to V3. I have updated above to show the major improvements in V3, let us know if you have further questions. Thanks!