The Ushahidi team have recently release a new service based on the Ushahidi core. The service, dubbed Crowdmap, is a cloud service by which anyone can literally run an Ushahidi deployment without having to download and set up their own server. The service is aimed at giving probable users an easy, straight-forward way to deploy Ushahidi with the least amount of technical hussle.

Crowdmap is a service provided by Ushahidi with all the benefits of Ushahidi out of the box but with nothing to install. It takes all of five minutes to get a vanilla deployment up and running on subdomain. You will have full administrative access to your deployment, just as you would if you installed it yourself. You will have the ability to choose themes, edit categories, solicit reports, just as you would if you had a server administrator get your deployment up and running. Crowdmap will even accept SMS reports from FrontlineSMS or your Clickatell account.

Lifehacker writes about it:

Open-source mapping tool Crowdmap creates interactive maps for visualizing location-based data on a map and timeline. The tool crowdsources information via a web form, mobile phone, or Twitter, though it also uses news sources to document and verify incidents.

This will potentially increase the number of Ushahidi deployments and definitely opens it up to potentially more creative uses for the tool. To date Ushahidi has been primarily targeted at disaster relief and humanitarian efforts. However, Ushahidi could basically be used on any data set that is classifiable and geo-referenced for more or less any other purpose.

Congratulations to the Ushahidi folks for the unrelenting innovation that keeps streaming in from them!

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