Have you ever asked yourself what would have happened if Daniella Frazier didn't publish the George Floyd footage? There would have been a bland statement that George Floyd died resisting arrest, and none of us would have heard of him. Instead, the horror of that footage ignited global protests, paving the way for landmark legislations banning use of excessive force and chokeholds.

The truth of the matter is that, many violent police encounters happen daily, it's just that there wasn't a Daniella Frazier to document them, and to make it worse, there's no federal mandate requiring law enforcement to report lethal encounters. As a result, we are left with limited data to not only hold responsible police officer to account but also inform comprehensive reform initiatives.

What it does

To address this challenge, we designed Crowd Journal, a media crowdsourcing platform, where eye-witnesses like Daniella Frazier can publish their respective account of events as they happen along a variety of topics (Police Brutality, Gun Violence, Anti-Semitism, Hate Speech, Gentrification, Homelessness, Mass Shooting, Climate Change etc.)

When publishing media/story on Crowd Journal, the citizen journalist has to tag topic, doer, location, time data of the incidence, thereby answering the who | where | when | why | How of every story. i.e. What happened? Who did it? Where did it happen? When did it happen? How did it happen?

From here, we've integrated Google Maps to facilitate visualization, analysis, sorting and Mapping of these stories. These way, Data Journalists can use it create rich contextual stories as well as uncover new stories that will create lasting change in our society.

How we built it

We incorporated Design Thinking in understanding the problem, later, we mapped out every stakeholder in this chain, and their needs. We did user interviews to understand their respective pain points, later incorporated them, in designing Crowd Journal. This also helped us come up with a Business Model for Crowd Journal to sustain the project post-hackathon.

Challenges we ran into

Short time to implement all functionalities

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Displaying markers on the map

What we learned

Google Maps have great use cases besides its mainstream use in the delivery of goods/ride sharing,

What's next for Crowd Journal

Piloting with a small group users (citizen journalists & data journalists)

Crowd Journal can also be used in places like Ukraine, Ethiopia where global events are taking place in helping the world understand what is happening on the ground.

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