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Step 3: Get Ushahidi going in your community – install the code (about 1 hour)

Posted on: March 11, 2010

Ushahidi

Ushahidi is the white label for Crowdsourcing Crisis Information.  It was originally thrown together to track electoral violence in Kenya in 2008 and its founders have made it available for all communities.

6 broadbrush steps for installing Ushahidi

I’m documenting what I am doing to get it up and running in non-geeky language – and hopefully clearly – but I am writing as I go. You are about to catch up with me.

Step 1: Download WAMP to turn your PC into a local server.  The instructions are on LifeHacker.  The rest of you computer is unaffected.

Step2: Get the code from Ushahidi

Step3: Install Ushahidi (looks complicated but an hour’s uninterrupted concentration will do you)

What you have already: WAMP

  • At this point you should have WAMP running on your computer.  You should see a little half-shell in your systems tray.  You will also have discovered by now that you must left click and select “Start all services” to make it work.   Go to Localhost at the top and you should see the wikipedia that you created.

What you have already: Ushahidi Code

  • You also downloaded the Ushahidi code.  Where is it?  Maybe you created a directory under c://wamp/www/ushahidi ?

Prepping: Set up a sub-directory in your server root directory

  • We will begin by making another directory to contain all the code for the website.  Think of your domain name and create a directory c://wamp/www/yourdomainname

Prepping: Create a database

  • This is the similar to the database you set up for your wiki.
  • Left click the WAMP ‘shell’ icon in the system tray and go to localhost.  Select phpmyadmin.
  • Look for the input form in the middle that says ‘Create a new database’.  Enter “yourdomainname” with the quotes.
  • Look for “privileges”. Select.  Check the privileges for both “root” and the “username” you set up for yourself when you made your wiki are to yes.
  • Check your database list. You should see yourdomainname there.
  • To keep yourself working smoothly, write down the name of the database, your username and your password.  These will be different from the name and password you get into the Ushahidi website.  (Think website and database as two separate places that speak to each other.)

Prepping:  Unzip the Ushahidi files

  • Now unzip the Ushahidi files into the directory it is in, or, into c://wamp/www/yourdomainname. It doesn’t matter where for now as long as you remember where you sent them.
  • This should take 10-20 seconds.
  • Now copy everything in the sub-directory Ushahidi into c://wamp/www/yourdomainname.  In geek-language, we are putting the code in the root directory.

Prepping: Check your PHP extensions

  • Before you go on, there are four little things you must check on you WAMP server. Left click on the shell, go to PHP settings and then PHP extensions.  Go down the list and make sure the following are “on”.  Mine are marked with an arrow: php_curl, php_mbstring, php_gdr, and php_mcrypt.

Prepping: Thinking about you website users

  • What is the name of your website?  Maybe it is the same as yourdomainname or maybe the label at the top left of the first page will be different?  You can have two names or you can use the same one.  This is choice about communication not a requirement within the Ushahidi platform.
  • What is the tagline for your website?
  • What email address will you use on the front page of the website for people to contact you?  It is visible so maybe set up a fresh gmail account.  You may have a second password now.  Write them all down!

Installing Ushahidi

  • Choose “basic” and we are going to fill in some information.
  • Ushahidi will have found yourdomainname and entered it for you.  If you want to change it (see 5 bullets up), then do that now.
  • Enter your tagline (required).
  • Enter your (very) public email address.
  • Now enter the name of your database (that you set up above).  And the username you use for databases and your database password (all set up on Step 1).

And you are done!

  • Enter admin for user and password (don’t forget these.  Why not write them down with the usernames and passwords for your email and your database?)
  • Well done!  You can explore now.  Don’t change anything yet.  You are tired and you might make a mess.  I did and had to pull everything off and start again.  Now is the time to think about what your new site is for and what you want it to accomplish.

HELP:  If you have got stuck, leave me a comment.  Within the limits of my competence, I’m happy to try to help.

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1 Response to "Step 3: Get Ushahidi going in your community – install the code (about 1 hour)"

i followed your tips but still get an error message:

“Internal Server Error

The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

Please contact the server administrator, webmaster@localhost and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

More information about this error may be available in the server error log.”

please i need your help,thanks in advance

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