Ushahidi wins $200K MacArthur grant

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Ushahidi — a crisis-tracking tool with roots in TEDGlobal 2007 — has been awarded a $200,000 grant for development from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

The Ushahidi mapping tool was developed by Erik Hersman, Ory Okolloh and Juliana Rotich, who’d met as TED Fellows at the 2007 TEDGlobal conference in Arusha, Tanzania, and the programmer David Kobia. A mashup of Google Maps and texting widgets, Ushahidi allowed citizens to do real-time reporting via text during the Kenyan post-election riots. It’s since been developed into an engine for more widespread reporting — most recently, to monitor the Indian elections and to track swine flu. In his 2009 TEDTalk, Erik Hersman, a co-founder, talked about the team’s big plans for Ushahidi — making it open-source and expandable. Watch his TEDTalk to hear this vision, which the grant will help come true >>