FIXIT

FIXIT: Ushahidi location lists

Today, a conversation amongst crisismappers went something like: “when are we going to migrate to IRC?” (this in response to yet another Skype idiosyncrasy getting in the way of the team), then “not until we have a decent interface for it on all platforms” and “we asked the weekend hackathons for this, but it’s not sexy: you can’t tell people you’re saving the world, or helping starving children with it”.  That’s a whole pile of cynicism and frustration, but behind it are three things: 1) mappers still don’t have all the tools they need, and are relying on people-as-processors to get round that, 2) mappers don’t know how to ask for tools in ways that gets them what they need, and 3) hackathons may not be the best place to get those non-sexy tools built. So. Options. Best is to find a good piece of existing open-source kit that almost…

Data Science

Knowing Ourselves

Excuse me while I geek out on some data.  I’ve been wondering for a while about retention rates in volunteer groups.  And I just happen to have a lot of data about signups for one of them.  So I thought I’d start asking some questions.  The types of question that I want to start asking are: What are the basic demographics for this group (ages etc)? How many of these people were active this year? What’s the geographical distribution… which countries are light on mappers, which timezones are light on mappers? What’s the geographical distribution of active people? How long do people stay before they drop out? First, 80% of all data science (at the moment) is data cleaning, so I had to do a few things to make this possible. Clean all the location information – there were two sets of location fields in the original data, and issues…