Mapping Application Analysis

The following mapping applications were selected for review based on their utility and effectiveness.

gearth.jpgGoogle Earth is probably the most extensive and well known of the geo-based information sharing and mapping platforms, which harnesses the innovation of Google and the creative ingenuity of the public, with the goal of bringing stories to life. Google Earth Outreach was developed in an attempt to bring the knowledge and power of Google Earth to not-for-profit organizations and public interest groups who are striving to create a better world and want to visualize their cause.

Click here for a comprehensive review of Google Earth.

external image logo_ushahidi-red.jpg

Ushahidi– Swahili for testimony— is a web-based platform that allows anyone to gather distributed data via SMS, email or web, and visualize it on a map or timeline. It was launched during the post-election violence in Kenya on January 9, 2008 to spread awareness about the violence devastating their country, and to empower citizens to report on or learn about the atrocities occurring in their regions. Their goal is to "create a platform that any person or organization can use to set up their own way to collect and visualize information."
Click here for a comprehensive review of Ushahidi.


The Witness Hub is a site that showcases user-uploaded multimedia related to international human rights. The site utilizes a mapping application, which pinpoints an area where a video, photo or personal account was uploaded, and shows campaigns, groups and events related to that issue. There are a few environmental justice issues, but the focus is on advocacy and action in response to human rights abuses. The multimedia and narrative element of The Hub is effective in raising awareness, but we raise questions of access, credibility and authority in creating a similar, climate impact-based tool.

Click here for a comprehensive review of The Witness Hub Map.