Here are a few extra examples of the kinds of tools we’d like to help create more of.
Using Ordinance Survey Map data together with council boundaries and postcodes, FixMyStreet helps residents to report damage to local streets – graffiti, fly-tipping or broken paving slabs – by giving them quick and easy ways to document the problem which are then automatically sent to the relevant local council via email for follow-up action.
From its beginnings as an email group based in Arizona, the Freecycle Network has grown to be an international organization of people exchanging and recycling unwanted goods for free rather than throwing them away.
The Irrepressible tool is part of a campaign by Amnesty International against state censorship of the internet. They provide a badge to be displayed on personal websites or in emails that contain a fragment of web content that has been censored somewhere in the world. The idea is to spread repressed information further; using internet censorship to defeat itself.
Kiva is a microlending platform that enables individuals to lend to entrepreneurs across the globe. Kiva partners with a range of microfinance institutions who make small-scale loans to local entrepreneurs. The details of loans are then posted on the Kiva website and anyone can lend the money required to cover listed project expenses. Kiva then distributes money received directly to the participating microfinance institutions, who ensure that the entrepreneur pays back the loan over a specified time period. The lender can then re-lend their original sum through Kiva or withdraw their money. As of November 2009, Kiva had facilitated over £65 million in loans.
Founded by a volunteer sea cliff rescue climber with the Irish Coast Guard, Decisions for Heroes is web-based software for organising rescue teams. It’s designed for use by emergency services to help record and analyse rescue operations.
An independent feedback system for the UK health service: Post a story about your experience of a hospital, GP or dentist – whether it’s a comment about how to improve the service or a simple thank you for the care you received – and Patient Opinion directs it to the manager who is responsible within the NHS. Patients can not only read about other patient’s experiences, but the feedback they provide helps to make health care better for everyone.
“Ushahidi”, which means “testimony” in Swahili, was a website that was initially developed to map reports of violence in Kenya after the post-election fallout at the beginning of 2008. The software was used to map incidents of violence and peace efforts throughout the country based on reports submitted via the web and mobile phones. Since then, the site has developed into a platform to help people crowdsource information collection from all over the world and use it to create visualizations and interactive maps from data provided by anyone, from activists and ordinary citizens to news journalists.