Elections Technology Workshop:June 22 – 24
New Tech at Work -Planning for Liberia's Elections and beyond Presented by Google and Ushahidi Liberia The Event brought together Ushahidi and Crisis Mappers Co-founder and Co-Director Patrick Meier, Google representatives -Ginny Hunt & Richard Ngamita,Etherton Technologies Managing Partner-John Etherton, Information Technology Professionals from organizations involved with the upcoming Liberian 2011 Elections, Stakeholders,the Civil Society, Journalists, students and other observers. The Event lasted for three days, the first two days took place at *iLab_ Liberia and was set aside for Information Technology Professionals and the media, while the last day was a general Event. During the first day, I presented on "Data Curation" in which I described data curation as the means and act of organizing and maintaining a collection of data - a process of establishing a long term repository of data for current and future reference, which comprises of data management, data sharing, data preservation for later re-use. I further stressed on data format structure in which I proposed that different types of data should be categorized in separate folders to divide the data logically. I aslo gave a data saving format "Year_Month_Date_Author's Name" or Month_Day_Year_Author's Name and if modified, Month_Day_Year_Author's Name_Mondifier's Name. I said, using these formats, will help to make data flexible for retrival when it is being searched for fives years from now. In addition to saving format, applications make a difference when it comes to data retrival,stressing that saving data in a more common and universal format will enable it to be easily view. Since there are different applications for relatively different kinds of files and reports, saving a final version of a report as pdf (portable data format) will make it much more easier to access. On the second day, I along with my colleague Luther Jeke presented on Skype, outlining its detail usage and demonstrating every aspect of in which skpye can used by organizations, trainers,students and researchers to easily converse, share notes, carryout training, host meetings and use for social events. The general event was held at the PA RibHouse in Monrovia and was attended by participants from different works of life. During the Group breakout discussions, I lectured and trained my group in installing and using virtualbox. Virtualbox-VM is Oracle x86 virtualization software package, originally created by software company innotek GmbH,purchased by Sun Microsystems, and now developed by Oracle Corporation as part of its family of virtualization products. It is installed on an existing host operating system; within this application, additional guest operating systems, each known as a Guest OS, can be loaded and run, each with its own virtual environment. Virtualbox host operating systems include Linux, Mac OS X, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Solaris, and OpenSolaris; Its guest operating systems include versions and derivations of Windows,Linux, BSD, OS/2, Solaris and others. Since release 3.2.0, VirtualBox also allows limited virtualization of Mac OS X guests on Apple hardware. According to 2010 surveys by LinuxJournal.com and LifeHacker.com, VirtualBox was the most popular virtualization product with over 50% of the vote.We, along with all the participants had a very great week learning new technologies,ranging from using google apps -sites, Calendar, Fusion tables, forms, document collaboration,google Maps, and Google Search to My maps, embedding maps in websites,Flickr, Picasa, blogging,Data Curation, Ushahidi platform, Twitter, skype,Video streaming over LAN, FrontlineSMS, Facebook,BaseCamp, Data validation and Analytics,from great presenters like Patrick Meier, Ginny Hunt, John Etherton, Kate Cummings, Kpetermeni Siakor, Richard Ngamita, and Luther Jeke.