Open-source mapping tool Crowdmap creates interactive maps for visualising location-based data on a map and timeline. The tool crowdsources information via a web form, mobile phone or Twitter, though it also uses news sources to document and verify incidents.
The web app was created by non-profit Ushahidi, an African tech company specialising in data collection and visualisation. First used to document Kenya's 2008 post-election fallout, the Ushahidi platform has also been used to monitor the Haitian earthquake aftermath, crime in Atlanta, and violence and protests in Gaza. Crowdmap, which promises a basic setup in five minutes, was designed to be less technical and quicker to launch than Ushahidi. Be it civil unrest, a natural disaster, a public nuisance or even something less important (and more fun), Crowdmap looks like an excellent tool for the right job.