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Posts Tagged ‘WAMP

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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Now the easy bit.  Get the code for Ushahidi.  Five minutes work and the possibility of a day or two elapsed time while you wait for the link.

  1. Go to the Ushahidi download website.
  2. Email Ushahidi saying why you want to use the platform.
  3. When they send you a link, download a zip file and store it wherever you store downloads.  Alternatively go to the C:\\wamp/www directory that you made when you set up your local host, create a directory called c:\\wamp/www/ushahidi and store the zip file there.

All done.

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Step-by-step instructions for setting up Ushahidi for your own community

I am setting up Ushahidi for a community and recording what I do step-by-step in the hope that other non-geeks like myself will find it easier to follow.

Ushahidi

USHAHIDI is a crowdsourcing crisis information website that is available on an white label.  You can download it and customize it for your own community.

Set up a local host on your PC as a development environment

If you have never done this before, the first step you must get done, before you do anything else is to set up a “local host” on your PC.

What do you need?

You need nothing more than your ordinary household pc with an internet connection.

Broadbrush steps and jargon

To set up a local host on your PC, you are going to download a WAMP server that runs with Apache, MySQL and PHP.  This is a commonplace procedure used by anyone who develops a website on on their own PC before they move it to a public host in what is called a production environment -that is, a publicly accessible website.  Your local host will be your development environment.

Follow LifeHacker‘s instructions to make a WAMP servier

To make your WAMP server, I am going to refer you to an old post on LifeHacker.  That is what I used and it works just fine.  It will show you how to develop a wiki on your own computer.  That’s fine.  You will learn the whole process and a wiki on your own PC is useful for notes you need when you don’t have an internet connection.

So step one:  Make a “local host” so you can develop a website off line.  I am sending you to Lifehacker for instructions. Follow them carefully and in one hour or less you should have a working wikipedia on your PC.

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