Ushahidi for Digital Placemaking - code share time


Hi all, since August of 2010 we've been modifying code from the main versions of Ushahidi, and recently with the 2.x version including the latest security patch, for our nonprofit work focused on Digital Placemaking, which is about community centered creation of places in the City Planning/Architecture/Urban Design context. We help communities make great places, and are now using digital tools to accelerate and amplify community mapping to empower civic engagement in how the neighborhood and city places they live in are changed.

Here's the rundown of our site code, at the time of this posting here it is best exemplified by this site:

1. (bug fix/feature) Adding and modifying default and custom questions, having them show up on the form and item view, including optional info

2. (bug/feature fix) site search, working on all fields a site has in the database

3. (feature) CMS interface for modifying clustering distance

4. (feature) CMS interface for modifying thank you page content

5. (feature) Email confirmation upon approval/verify of item

5. (feature) CMS interface to modify confirmation email text

6. (bug fix) Keeping visual map zoom state on item view when a user makes the map wider or taller

7. (feature) CMS control to hide/show top level categories to users on submit and map page


We also have two plugins we've been cooking that we'd like to share as well.

1. "Add Idea Near Me" - on the item view a user wants to add another idea nearby, clicking on this link brings them to the submit page with the pin 100 ft near to item they were looking at, saving time panning on the map.

2. "Districts lookup" - user submits an item, then a district lookup is made on Google maps, with this data stored we can then sort by this sub-city level of place (e.g. all items in Brooklyn)

In terms of sharing code back to the community we could post all our code more or less as is, and/or clean it up to it's in better prep for parts of it being added back in the Ushahidi core, and/or just post chunks people are interested in. Our current programmer who's done amazing work on our recent version is Robert Marianski he'll post here as well for any clarifications. I'm the product owner and lead for this initiative, and we'd like to know how to best proceed.

Also... About building a user group for Placemaking usage of Ushahidi:

With our Placemaking/Urban Planning work at PPS we're looking to gather technologists interested in Placemaking+Technology. I've already heard from a couple groups who want to work in this (new) Placemaking tribe of Ushahidi. My first thought was to set up the usual Google group for this, but I'm wondering if it would be possible to have a forum here on the Ushahidi site, to keep the Ushahidi site the hub all emerging user groups still come to.... could we get a Digital Placemaking board within the forums? Or should we host our own?

Thank you,

Daniel Latorre

Project for Public Spaces

twitter @danlatorre