July 21, 2009

A mobile database that brings it all together

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kiwanjaTwo years or so ago during my time at Stanford University, I was carrying out research on the impact of mobile phones around the world for a conference. I was after specific articles, reports and projects — but it was spread all over the place. I spent so much time I wondered why a ‘one-stop,’ searchable resource didn’t exist.

Several weeks and a couple of volunteers later we launched the kiwanja Mobile Database, the first attempt of its kind to bring some of this information together. Volunteers have helped maintain it since, and it remains the only resource of its kind.

kiwanja's Mobile Database

Today the Mobile Database holds information on the social and environmental impact of mobile technology around the world, and is searchable by article, report or project, and by category, country or keyword.

As of today it contains almost 650 entries and is regularly maintained. Since its launch in 2006 it’s become one of the most popular sections of the kiwanja.net website — closely followed by the Mobile Gallery of photos, and the “Build it Kenny” blog — and is particularly popular among students and researchers.

So, if you’re a student, researcher, activist, practitioner or simply interested in mobile technology, be sure to bookmark it and submit your own entries if you find anything interesting! Ken Banks is founder of kiwanja.net, a site that helps nonprofits use mobile technology to serve their communities’ information needs. See his profile page, visit his blog, contact Ken or leave a comment. Follow Ken on Twitter at @kiwanja.

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