Back from Kenya

Apologies for the long break between this and my last post. I have just returned from five weeks in Kenya. Given all the turmoil there, access for blogging via Internet Cafes proved to be difficult. My partner (who is Kenyan) and I felt it prudent to remain indoors for much of the time after a rather scary time in the midst of the trouble at Christmas time.

However, it is precisely at times of crisis like this one that the Internet proves to be so useful as a communication tool, whether through blogs, emails or YouTube (as below).

Ushahidi.com is a website that is using Web 2.0 to good effect to promote awareness of the acts of violence in Kenya in the post-election times. "Ushahidi" means witness. People can report an incident that they have seen, and after verification it will be posted on a map-based view for others to see. Ushahidi is working with local Kenyan NGO’s to get information and to verify each incident.

The verified incidents are mapped using Google mapping software, so that the user can zoom in or out, and can see maps, satellite photos, or both. It has been suggested that this technology, which is deliberately simple, could be a model for similar websites serving other countries with communal violence.

More on Kenya.

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