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LivingData – Building collaborative datasets
Mar 5th, 2013 by admin

Long before socially inclined technology projects start creating tangible impact for their shareholders, begins the torrent of data generated by technology interventions. This data is typically valuable, since it contains new information about communities who have often never been connected to any digital media. Moreover, the data usually also contains performance related information related to the intervention itself. However, the data is collected in so many different forms and formats that it is usually very difficult to analyze data from all sources comprehensively.

Ever since Mojolab began, we’ve experienced a consistent challenge in being able to manage data that has been coming at us like an avalanche from our many sources in the field.In our case, data is collected both passively by automated systems as well as actively by human particpants. The automatically collected data is stored in several databases, each on a different remotely placed notebook server, connected only by a VPN.
The manual data is collected as a set of excel sheets, often made by participants from the field. These sheets often vary in format, even for similar data. For example, two volunteers in two different locations may collect participant data for workshops in completely dissimilar looking Excel sheets, when compared based on column names, but which represent the same type of data, in that both are lists of people.
To solve this problem we came up with the idea of a tool that would be able to combine tables in different formats to make more comprehensive data sets.
In the simplest case, the tool would be able to take two tables (as CSV files), for example (see figure below)

Merge, Map and Add Field Operations to Create Living Datasets-1
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Setting up Twinkle for Swara Installation
Jan 27th, 2013 by Kabir Bhaskar

Prerequisite:  A swara installation you can get the documentation at http://mojolab.org/archives/50

 

 

Getting the Twinkle:

root@swaravm:/home# apt-get install twinkle

Now open the Twinkle in GUI from Ubantu Dashboard

 

In the Twinkle’s New Profile Dialog Box:

1. Select Wizard

2. Enter a name for your profile: swaravoicebox

3. Enter server details as follows:

Twinkle Wizard for Profile Settings

User Profile Settings


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Post-Bellagio Catharsis #2 – Voices Across the Digital Divide a.k.a. “There’s plenty of room at the bottom” (v 2.0)
Oct 28th, 2012 by admin

Voice enabled technology is one of the most promising bridging tools available to society. Given that large portions of the worlds population remain isolated from the Internet community and as a result are often marginalized and disenfranchised can now actually use their voice as a means to communicate with the world.

Several teams are now working to build solutions in this area, with Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems that are accessible by phone and internet and provide a means to build bridges across the digital divide.

This presentation was delivered at the conference “Turn Up the Volume: Bringing Voice to Mobile Citizen Journalism” organized by the International Center for Journalists at the Rockefeller Foundation’s facility in Bellagio, Italy between Oct 8-12 this year to bring some of the key thinkers of this space together.

In it, we provide a broad overview of how most IVR systems work, with Swara IVR as a case study and also talk about how mobile phones, the internet and other communication media can be linked together to form independent, community owned communication networks.
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Conversations about Swara IVR: Jitendra from Hyderabad India
Oct 16th, 2012 by admin

Jitendra Singh(Hyderabad, India)
Any quick pointers on setting up IVR on an Indian phone line ?

Anoop Saha
You can use our open source software of Swara. http://swara.mojolab.org/
To phone callers, Swara presents a 2 way Interactive Voice Response that the user navigates using the number keys on their phone.

Jitendra Singh
Is there someone who can help us set this up quickly? Simple menu, just need to record the caller-id
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Conversations about Swara IVR: Waheedullah from Afghanistan
Oct 16th, 2012 by admin

Waheedullah Zadran Babrakzai
hello my dear indian friend
i hope yo be fine and ok

Arjun Venkatraman
tell me boss…how are you!

Waheedullah Zadran Babrakzai
i am fine
actually u r my boss and teacher
i have learned many things from you
how r ur works going on there

Arjun Venkatraman
dude…come on…i am barely even able to respond to your messages…work is going well
i was in kabul recently
and may be back for a week in the coming months

Waheedullah Zadran Babrakzai
really
i hope u enjoyed here
would that i could see u from near

Arjun Venkatraman
yes, it was great…much better weather than the first time i was there…well let us hope for the best
how is yourproject?

Waheedullah Zadran Babrakzai
i am still stuck in ivr section
actually i couldn’t find any IVR software through which i could receive user input(DTMF) to enter it to my SQL Server database
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Post-Bellagio Catharsis #1 – GPS as Morse Code?
Oct 16th, 2012 by Arjun Venkatraman

Reposted from http://arjunstechblog.blogspot.in/2012/10/gps-morse-code.html

 

A week at the Villa Serebelloni in Bellagio, Italy does lead to excellent ideas. One that I wanted to put out on the internet as soon as possible is to use GPS as a signalling system.

Most smartphones now come equipped with GPS, to support applications like Google Maps and Open Street Map.
It would be interesting to see if GPS can be used as a signalling system, with GPS on=1 and GPS off=0.

This would be particularly useful for disaster situations or for personal emergencies. Since GPS is usually always available irrespective of WiFi or GSM or other provider network, it seems like the most reliable place to look.

Maybe Google Latitude can include an “Emergency Ping” over GPS, where if they receive a particular pattern of bits from the GPS on/off method, they send an email alert to all the persons friends on Latitude. Now THAT is a Google service I would probably be willing to see ads in order to have.

This needs to be technically validated though, so will add detail to this post and if anyone else wants to validate or implement and talk about it…here’s a good place to start!

Swara IVR wins mBillionth Award for the 2nd time!
Jul 27th, 2012 by admin

Swara IVR, which won the mBillionth Award for m-News and Journalism in 2010 in it’s avatar as CGNet Swara has won the award again in 2013.
On July 21st, at an awards event organized by the Digital Empowerment Foundation, the Mojolab team spent the day interacting with the best and the brightest in the mobile/social technology space in New Delhi. We also presented the latest updates in the Swara network and showcased some of our future plans. It was a delight sharing space with visionary projects like eduVarta and Kisan Sanchar, last year’s winners.

Graamvani‘s Jharkhand Mobile Radio project, inspired by CGNet Swara, also received a special mention at the awards in the same category.

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Troubleshooting Swara: Can’t playback recordings
Jul 27th, 2012 by admin

Hi Arjun,

Wemanaged to install everything and are able to call and record thru virtual phone. But we cannot playback what we recorded. Any clue

Rgrds

XXXXX

 

Dear XXXXX

First, please install audacity and check that you can record audio correctly on the laptop. The issue is most often a faulty mike.

If that is not the case, then we need to check inside the swara system.

Run asterisk -vvvvvvvvvvvr and then place a test call with your softphone client. Note the output in the terminal. You may see some error messages, please send me those. The other place to look for errors is /var/log/swara.log

The issue might be that lame is not installed, or the path to lame is incorrectly set in the code from your system’s point of view. Lame converts the file from wav to mp3 so if that is missing that may be causing the problem.
To resolve:

1. Run “which lame” on a console and note the path in the output
2. open “/opt/swara/bin/menu_system_localized.py“, go to the line refering to “lame” and replace the path to lame there with the correct path as noted in step 1

Hope this solves the issue.

Regards
The Mojolab Tech Team

Video Post: Mojolab Prez Smita Choudhary attends Karachi Social Media Mela 2012
Jul 14th, 2012 by admin

Swara Goes Live in Andhra and Jharkhand
Jun 12th, 2012 by admin

Swara is going hyperlocal! Over May and June this year, we have deployed two replications of CGNet Swara, one in Andhra Pradesh and one in Jharkhand.

This brings the total number of Swara deployments (the ones we know about at least) to 7.

Swara AP or Andhra Swara is deployed in Vishakhapatnam at the Samata offices. After the deployment we also did a training workshop for users in partnership with volunteers from DHAN foundation, SITARA and AID India. The venue was a community temple in Teslapur village. Trainees attended from the neighbouring blocks including Indraveli, Utnoor and Asifabad.

 

Swara JH or Jharkhand Swara is deployed at Solidarity Center in Ranchi. This one is a truly democratic platform…even the hardware is set up by coalition!

While Solidarity Center has volunteered to provide the physical space, electricity and a backup network connection, the SIM card was contributed by the Adiwasi Women’s Network and the broadband datacard came from Safdar.

The training workshop at Bagaicha in Ranchi had a whopping 55 participants…very fortunately, we also had 7 trainers!

 

 

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