Posts Tagged Sahana

Sahana in Haiti

The Sahana community has been furiously active in response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Their Haiti WIKI describes their activities and provides a summary of volunteer help that is needed. You can follow their activities online on the freenode #sahana IRC (Internet Relay Chat) channel, which is accessible  through the web on http://www.sahana.lk/chat.

Sahana is deploying both a PHP/MySQL version of their system (the one which includes the VM module developed by students in the HFOSS project) and a newer Python version.  They have called for volunteers to help with all aspects of the project, from coding to testing to data entry.  Details on the data entry and bug tracking work can be found here.

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Camp Roberts Exercise Day 2

Finished another busy day at the camp Roberts exercise today. We made progress on several fronts.

Here is an extract from the STAR-TIDES RELIEF 10-1 website to give you a little background on the efforts.

Under a partnership between the National Defense University and the Naval Postgraduate School, the STAR-TIDES initiative hosts quarterly experiments at a remote field site in Paso Robles, CA (Camp Roberts). These experiments explore the edge of the possible within humanitarian operations, focusing on the creation of a common operating picture between all responding organizations–civilian and military, domestic and international.

The experiments in November 2009 will explore four areas:

  1. Open Aerial Data: Using UAVs to build a new base map of a region, and creating the software to automatically mosaic those still images into a new base map.
  2. Cross-Sector Information Sharing: Using quickly deployable, flexible, and scalable virtual machines to create a network of interoperable, networked information sharing devices that will connect all organizations working in a theatre of operations.
  3. Mobile Data Collection: Using mobile devices to submit structured and unstructured data to gateways that automatically map and analyze the incoming flow of information.
  4. Disaster Management System Development: Extending the Sahana disaster management system to include integration with Android phones, netbooks, OLPCS, and other computing devices.

Chamindra and I were working on getting Sahana SMS capabilities configured on the netbook using a Palm Treo 670 connected via bluetooth as a SMS gateway using smstools and AT commands. It wasn’t the most stable of environments and we ran into more than a few setbacks. We did successfully get it running on Windows using FrontLineSMS, SMS Tools and a  tethered nokia phone.  Chamindra is writing a new module to better integrate the incoming SMS messages from the field.  We are also working together with Robert K. to integrate GeoRSS feeds through GeoChat.

Chris wrote a android application to capture geo-coded tags out in the field and send it back to the Sahana server via SMS. This application will be tested tomorrow.

Antonio wrote a new “Personnel Management” module for Sahana, which facilitates the self registration of first responders, observers, or anyone involved in  a disaster response. Participants in the Moneray county fire evacuation exercise will come through and register through this new registration system. The “Personnel Management” (PM) module is an extrapolation of the VM module self registration capabilities, allowing it to function as an outward facing module for Sahana. In the same note the PM module would be expanded to allow for the registration of other information including additional organizations or assets relating to personnel.

Gavin and Mark worked on pre-populating the Sahana instance with some data sets. We have been joined by Sahana’s resident GIS expert David and a new comer to the community Dan.

For up to the  minute happening from the exercise visit STAR TIDES RELIEF 10-1 at http://relief1001.org/

We will upload some photos later. This author happened to leave his camera cable back in the East Coast.

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Chamindra de Silva Wins Prestigious Award

Chamindra de SilvaChamindra de Silva, founding member and current leader of the Sahana project, has been awarded MIT’s prestigious Globus Indus Technovator Award (GITA) in the Grass Roots / Developmental category. The purpose of GITA, sponsored by the MIT Indian Students Association, is to honor “any person of Indus origin, resident anywhere in the world, under the age of 45 who has made outstanding technological or entrepreneurial contributions.”

As described here, Chamindra reacted to news of the award in his usual modest and self-effacing way:

As much as I value this award, in the humanitarian response domain, awards are not the focus, as we work mainly to make a difference to those in need.  A lot of credit for what we have been able to achieve and build upon is thanks to the many passionate volunteers and contributors in Sri Lanka and around the world, who wanted to make a difference by using their skills for the greater good.

The GITA award now joins a growing list of awards and recognition received by the Sahana project, including the Free Software Award for Social Benefit (Feb 2007), Sourceforge Project of the Month (June 2006), Software 2006: Good Samaritan Award (April 2006, US) and Network World’s top 10 Open Source Companies to Watch (Aug 2006).

Congratulations Chamindra! Well deserved!

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