Crowdsourcing Wiki with Open Source Technology

Recently, our Founder and CEO, Marling Engle, clean-water-wiki-1attended the NASA Apps Challenge in Cleveland, OH. Working off of the Clean Water Mapping challenge, one of the many real-life challenges presented at the 2015 NASA Apps Challenge, Marling developed the CleanWaterWiki.

Before developing this Wiki, Marling researched the issue affecting so many under-developed areas around the world. His research led to the discovery that 1 in 9 people have no access to safe water and that women and children may spend on average 6 hours per day searching for safe water. Inadequate drinking water is the cause of more than 2,000 deaths daily. Marling wanted to find a solution to help those in these less-fortunate areas. The CleanWaterWiki is composed of three components:

1. A Data Standard

The Data Standard collects information about WaterPoints, both initially and over time. WaterPoints describe locations where water is, or was, available. This Data Standard will help organizations share information and combine their efforts.

2. A Mapping Application

This mapping application collects data of WaterPoints by people in the region. It allows individuals to quickly mark where they find WaterPoints, while also distinguishing if it is a clean source or not.

3. A Wiki

This Wiki allows collaboration around mapping these points in order to construct and maintain water collection. Additional information about alternative sources, such as rain collection can also be gathered here.

This Wiki is open source. It is open to promote collaboration, as well as crowd source discovery and ongoing validation. This Wiki is Metisentry hosted and includes technologies such as VMWare, Debian, Linux, Ruby on Rails, and MySQL. The idea of using technology and crowdsourcing on a global scale to share vital information for those in under-developed areas is the push behind this project. This shared data could allow researchers and aid organizations to target their efforts where they are most needed.