7arat is a social tech initiative based in Amman, Jordan. 7arat means neighborhoods in Arabic. The number 7 is pronounced a hard H. It was started by a group of entrepreneurs & social activists during an ideation session called 7iber Labs in early 2012 (Check this video report http://ow.ly/gJpD5). The objective and model has gone through many alterations. The main value of the initiative remains however to help amass data from the Arab world thru crowdsourcing. With that focus, the team of 7arat continues to operate in lean mode.
7arat deploys Ushahidi which is an open source platform (LGPL) to gather information, map them and make sense of them. Ushahidi stands for i-witness in Swahili, the language spoken in Kenya. The founders of the project wrote the code prior to the Kenyan elections in 2007. It made it possible for citizens to report on malpractices and violence cases during the country’s presidential elections. Citizens reported thru SMS, Email, Twitter and/or the website itself. After the elections, the founders have opened up the source-code online for general use. Ushahidi has been utilised many times since then, mainly to crowdsource information in times of crises all around the world.
7arat team will not be limited to the technologies of Ushahidi and will continue to find more channels to crowdsource information, as well as better ways to make sense of them. Future improvements on 7arat will include launching iOS and Android Apps, and integrations on Facebook, WikiMaps, Foursquare, Instagram, Twilio and Google Earth.