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CGNet Swara Stats Mar 22 2011 – Using Google Fusion Tables
Mar 25th, 2012 by admin

I figured I would do a little playing around with Google Fusion Tables and here is the result. Much as I am perturbed by the new privacy policy, Google does have some classy tools.
The data is all real so I suppose this could also serve for a status report :)

Locations Talked About On Swara

This is an experiment using Google fusion tables populated with data acquired by passing the transcribed message text on Swara through the Yahoo! Placemaker Service.

Obviously there is margin for error since phrases in some languages might refer to places in English. However, with some error checking thrown in (like a whitelist of countries) the error can be seriously minimized. I was able to produce the map below, which is a fast loading (and tad simpler to build) version of the Swara/Ushahidi Mashup I did a few weeks ago.

The catch of course is that you have to be online to visualize data like this and I didn’t like having to give my data to Google, but I suppose everything has a price….

 

Daily Calls Received By Swara Since Feb 2010:

This is a timeline of calls received by Swara every day since Feb 2010:

 

Call Length Distribution (2012 only) (x Axis=Number of calls, y axis=seconds)

This is my amateurish attempt at producing a histogram of call lengths (in increments of 60 seconds). The Fusion tables don’t come with a histogram feature. It would be nice to be able to aggregate the data into bins and produce a histogram automagically :)

 

That’s all for now, will push out more as I come up with them

Video Post: Voices Across the Digital Divide Presentation
Mar 9th, 2012 by admin

This is a video Arjun recorded while in Indonesia with Internews to replicate the CGNet Swara experiment for RuaiTV in West Kalimantan, Indonesia.

RuaiTV are supported locally by AirPutih and Harry Surjadi who is a Knight International Journalism Fellow working with the International Center for Journalists.

Video Post: How to alter an MP3′s bitrate for publishing on Swara
Mar 9th, 2012 by admin

In this video we show how to alter an MP3′s bit rate (frequency), so that it plays correctly over the Swara IVR. The Swara IVR system uses the Asterisk PBX system to interface with the GSM/Landline networks. In our pilot, we have found best results with sound recorded at 8000 KHz.

Swara meets Ushahidi
Feb 26th, 2012 by admin

A couple of months ago, while I was visiting Borneo, I was looking at the Swara blog interface and wondering if there was some way to make it more exciting and informative, so that even people who didn’t necessarily want to wade through audio files could still get a clear visual snapshot of the subjects being discussed.
The usual ideas like tag clouds and slide shows would do part of the trick, but what I really wanted was a geographic representation of the data, so that viewers (including us at Swara) could tell where the content was coming from and who were the people generating it.
Still pretty new to the social tech space, I resorted to Google and a few searches on the lines of “map data visualization” threw up Ushahidi.
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Voices Across the Digital Divide — Using Audio Portals to Connect Communities
Feb 3rd, 2012 by admin

A communication channel

Human beings are the only species on earth with the ability to communicate complex ideas through language. Speaking and listening have been the basis of human society since people started living in communities. In fact, the words “community” and “communication” share a common etymology.
Swara Installation on Ubuntu
Jan 25th, 2012 by admin

In order to install Swara, you need to be reasonably proficient with Linux in general and your distribution (in this case Ubuntu) in particular.
This means you shoudl be able to install your own applications using apt-get and be able to troubleshoot broken downloads and dependencies.
If this is all g(r)eek to you, please find someone who know their way around a Linux system to at least look over your shoulder, so that you don’t waste time with trivial issues. Of course spending time solving trivial issues is the best way to get good with any system.
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Swara in Indonesia
Dec 3rd, 2011 by Arjun Venkatraman

Note: This article draws on several comparisons between India and Indonesia in terms of connectivity and chinese culture. As more replications of the Swara technology happen across the developing world, I hope to draw a baseline that is shared by many countries.
Ever since the CGNet Swara pilot in Chhattisgarh (India) went viral, we’ve been looking to replicate the Swara platform and citizen journalism model in other parts of the world. So when Sam De Silva of Internews contacted me about setting up an installation in Indonesia, I jumped at the opportunity.
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