Nairobi, Kenya: Ushahidi – a non-profit tech company that specialises in developing free and open source software for information collection, visualisation and interactive mapping, has kicked off 2011 with two new launches, checkins for Crowdmap.
Crowdmap:CI, or Crowdmap Checkins, allows users to create ad-hoc checkin communities like Foursquare or Gowalla, complete with mobile applications and web portal. This checkin functionality works with both the Ushahidi platform and Crowdmap.com allowing for the rapid deployment of a ‘checkin’ community.
The company recognised that submitting elaborate reports to maps is not always the most efficient way of logging information. Sometimes users just want to drop quick notes that represent data points allowing them to enter details later. For instance: the locations of wells while touring a rural village, or potholes around a metropolitan city, or simply dropping pins while on a vacation for the memories of where to return to.
Crowdmap:CI is an attempt to make this data entry process quicker, allowing users to focus on location first, and everything else later. The beta Crowdmap:CI app is available for Android with iPhone support on the way.
Some of the key features of Crowdmap:CI include:
– Quickly leaving bread-crumb trails while surveying (geo-caching).
– Journalists can use Crowdmap to map points of interest and notes, for themselves or for their editorial teams.
– Have everyone in a company checkin as they move around the world on business trips and conferences to gain perspective of where everyone is and what they are doing.
– Mark the location of items or landmarks.
– Organise group checkin campaigns around conferences, causes or public gatherings.