[Talk-cl] InSTEDD, and GeoChat

Jean-Guilhem Cailton jgc en arkemie.com
Vie Mar 5 19:42:43 GMT 2010

Dear Julio,

I just found out about InSTEDD (http://www.instedd.org/) and think it 
might interest you to have a look at what they offer.

As a recent example of their activity, they technically supported the 
emergency short code SMS system in Haiti.

In particular, InSTEDD GeoChat was apparently designed as a 
communication means for "major humanitarian crises". 

A quote from http://www.instedd.org/technology_overview follows:
(I do hope nobody takes offence that there might be some common points 
between crisis situations anywhere in the world and common situation in 
the developing world)

*"InSTEDD GeoChat* <http://www.instedd.org/geochat> is a unified mobile 
communications service designed specifically to enable _self-organizing 
group communications_ in the developing world.   The service lets mobile 
phone users broadcast location-based alerts, report on their situation, 
and coordinate around events as they unfold, linking field, 
headquarters, and the local community in a real-time, interactive 
conversation visualized on the surface of a map.  Once you create a 
GeoChat group, you may use it as the text equivalent of a push-to-talk 
radio:  send the group a message on the Web, by email, or by SMS, and 
the rest of the group receives it.  GeoChat allows information to flow 
over multiple messaging channels, including dedicated SMS servers, a 
cell phone plugged into a laptop, a satellite phone, and even Twitter.  
You may learn more about InSTEDD GeoChat here 
<http://www.instedd.org/geochat>. Please join the online community 
around GeoChat here <http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/geochatusers/>. 
GeoChat is hosted "in the cloud" via Amazon, so there is no server to 
deploy.  GeoChat has global SMS coverage through Clickatel, has a US 
domestic SMS shortcode, and may easily be integrated with gateways of 
local carriers.  Users have referred to GeoChat as "Email for the Bottom 

GeoChat is in Beta.

I do not know whether it is easy to have OSM as the map used in GeoChat 
(example pictures display Google maps), but since it is free and open 
source (GPLv3), it would certainly be possible to adapt it if necessary.

I am just learning about InSTEDD, so there may also be other potentially 
interesting things on their website (like http://www.trackernews.net/, 
for instance).

Hoping this helps,

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