Google Summer of Code 08 IDEAS


Herewith is the ideas list of the Sahana project for the Google Summer of Code, 2008. Having been involved with GSoC 2006 and GSoC 2007, which have been more than effective in building both the project and the community, we are looking forward to having another encouraging year as well… Below are the tentative ideas of the project, but you are also encouraged to submit new ideas as well.

Sahana Disease Surveillance

Disease and disasters are inseparable entities most of the time. Spread of disease occurs in the post disaster phase and some times, a disease itself becomes a disaster. General requirements of this module include collection, analysis and dissemination of information on the local/global situation in collaboration with partners, and to provide background information regarding the effectiveness of recommended measures. Role based sharing of information and responsibility in management of preventive aspects of the disease should be addressed as appropriate.

For the convenience of the students, the module has divided in to 3 sub components. They can develop one or combination of the sub components. Students are free to explore any technology they are familiar with or interested, which is compatible with Sahana framework. As long as majority of basic features of each component are satisfied, students can modify or add new features according to their creativity and imaginations(don't worry about medical jargons :-? ).

Surveillance data input forms (xml/plain text processing based)

  • Dynamically created forms based on case definitions (global/local)
  • Automated classification of cases up on committing database records, depending on sysmptoms
  • Simple diagnostic guide for rural/less resource centers (using expert systems or any other AI technology)
  • Ability to maintain and update therapeutic guidelines and other useful informations for range of users (professionals/general public etc)
  • Collection of data regarding causative factors based on the data feed to the system using the forms mentioned above
  • Ability to analyze therapeutic response to a particular treatment modality

Graphical representation of cases and clusters on Google Map

  • Must be compatible with existing Sahana GIS components and conventions
  • Situation mapping, monitoring and assessment activities in pandemic alert period for cases
  • Ability to filter information appearing on the map based on filter criteria

Space and time dependent analysis of cases

  • Estimate seasonal and spatial pandemic disease burden
  • Monitoring outcome of containment measures
  • Cluster detection
  • Forecast trends for the first pandemic wave (affected regions, risk groups, health - care resource needs,impact, etc.)
  • Customizable graph and report generation ability
  • Causative factor analysis/risk factor analysis
  • Therapeutic response analysis

Sahana Social Networking

Objectives of this module is to facilitate rehabilitation process and community participation in disease notification and management. With improved community participation, health care or disaster management personnels can identify emerging public concerns and correct misinformations. If families can discuss problems they come across in managing long term disease conditions among themselves and share their experiences of tackling various problems, it will educate them to achieve better quality of life and less frustration.

(Sahana Social Networking module should be able to work with any Sahana module as a independent component though it is more focused on Disease Surveillance module at this stage)

Basic features to be included :

  • Ability to self sign up to the module without violating Sahana ACL scheme ( if user is already in the Sahana database, module should retrieve relevant informations form the Sahana database, and indicate user's present role/s in the Sahana for administrative purpose)
  • Administrator interface for the module
  • Several user levels must define including module admin, group admin/moderator, general user
  • Ability to create interests groups/associations based on a disease condition or another user
  • Automated suggestion of new links based on above interests(disease/another user) using FOAF or similar approach (system has the ability to introduce new contacts to a user based on commonalities)
  • What informations has to be revealed to the public and user groups should be able to define/customise
  • What informations are allowed to share among user groups could be able to be customized
  • Discussion thread mediation facility with comments and posts
  • Feed back mechanisms to identify emerging public concerns, address rumours, and mechanism to correct misinformation
  • System should be able to function as a community based education portal for patients/family members

Students are free to explore any technology they are familiar with or interested, which is compatible with Sahana framework. As long as majority of basic features are satisfied, students can modify or add new features according to their creativity and imaginations(sky is the limit ;-)).

Sahana offline browser capability

Offline data gathering mechanism within Sahana with the help of Google gears. A feature like that would be ideal for data gathering in the field where there is no connectivity. All you would need is a google gear installed browser.

Project Management capabilities for Sahana

Fingerprint recognition

During a large disaster one unfortunately finds a lot of displaced people or even bodies who have lost their identification tags, weather it be National ID card, a driving license, birth certificate or similar. In very poor nations, deprived regions or refugee camps people often do not have id cards in the first place. Fingerprints thus plays a greater role in identification for the purpose of finding, uniquely identifying and tracking disaster victims. Clear means of identification is critical in disaster to ensure that all tracked victims are being accounted for and are being helped. Due to the deprived environment of a disaster and breakdown of social norms a lack of available identification can result in identity theft abuses and similar issues thus it becomes more important in such an environment.

The fingerprint functionality is required as a Sahana library to be incorporate mainly into the Missing Person Registry and Disaster Victim Registry modules.

Data mining and visualization Library

This module adds data mining capabilities for Sahana. During a disaster Sahana will capture large amount of data. Using data mining capabilities it is possible to identify patterns in these data. Any Sahana module can perform data mining jobs by using this library.

You can find more information about data mining and visualization library Here

Aggregator mashup portal

This would allow a user to create a customized page, which contains information from selected sources, filtered, arranged, formatted, and displayed in a standard or user preffered manner, and allow the user to publish the created page on the server so that other can view the organized information and make use of it.

For an example visit the following links.

Information sources would be, various sahana instances deployed at various organizations coordinating in the disaster management process, weather forecasts, disaster alerts, past disaster data, disease data from various disease surveillance feeds, etc.

The page should be easily editable and customizable by the user without doing any coding/development, (Just by dragging and dropping things as in the example). The page may contain several portlets ( providing various information the user is interested in.

GIS analysis module

This module will provide geospatial analyical and modelling capability beyond that provided by the functions available in the spatial database module.

GIS Wiki

Rehabilitation Module

After a disaster, food,shelter and clothes would be the three major needs that the victims would be dying for. Other than these three, in order to get back to their normal life styles, necessities of the victims would differ depending on their profession and habits. As an example, after a disaster like Tsunami, a “Boat” would be the only thing that a devastated fisherman is looking for. To make this a success, we can keep records about all the resources needed by the victims. Currently SAHANA does not address this issue and it does not have a mechanism to facilitate it.

Caching functionality for Sahana

The use of caching is instead of regenerating the same work every time, the scripts are running to generate it the first time they're asked to, then store a copy of what they send back to your browser. The next time a visitor requests the same page, the script will know it'd already generated one recently, and simply send that to the browser without all the hassle of re-running database queries,searches,image retrieves, etc … Caching capabilities will improve performance of Sahana. Following are the several caching categories.

  • Database caching capabilities
  • Web page caching capabilities
  • Image caching capabilities (There are several modules within Sahana which shows recently registered person images in homepage those module required this capability)
  • File Caching capabilities.
  • Integrate Sahana system with PEAR Cache_Lite (Fast and Safe little cache system which work with PHP)

This capabilities should develop separately then user able to install and enable it according to their requirements. Above mentioned caching capabilities are server side caching and it will reduce server side wok load and increase the performance.

SahanaOCR::Advanced Functionality

SahanaOCR uses image feature extraction and AI in the form of Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) for optical character recognition. The basic framework which includes image processing and segmenting, training and feeding the ANN and recognition framework, with a simple GUI is already there for both Windows and Linux. In this phase we need to mainly focus on improving the accuracy, robustness, integration with Sahana database and user friendliness.

Sahana Chat/Jabber

This module will give capability to Sahana users to communicate effectively when Internet is not available or available. This should work with stand-alone Sahana sever and in hosted environment. It will track and log emails, SMS, chat in a one single place for organization future references. For instance consider two inventory managers having formal discussion using email, SMS, chat and it should logged for their future references, this scenario may happen in internally within organization or in two different places and Sahana Chat/Jabber application should have capability to track these discussions when necessary.

the development wiki

Sahana Dynamic Theme Manager

There are several themes we built within Sahana but if user is not satisfy with these themes he should able to change the colors and every thing as his preferences, but the problem will be he is neither a web designer nor a css designer. Then are certain cases where user have to change the theme according to their organizations preferences.

Sahana Dynamic Theme Manager contain graphical representation of Sahana css class then user able to change Sahana theme while looking at user interface but not editing css class manually. This module should contain color palate, images and many other tools which help to represent Sahana css class and user able to alter Sahana theme as their preferences dynamically also it should allow to upload their organization logo. Finally user won't be limited to specific number of themes they can create their own Sahana themes dynamically. Finally user has capability to create hundreds of Sahana themes very easily.

Sahana Disaster Preparedness

Disaster management is a some thing to do with huge amount of information and handle them efficiently. If we wait until disaster happens to collect those information it is not efficient and may be end up with another disaster. It is better to prepare for a disaster before it happens. Because most of disasters can be identified before it happens like flood, drought. But some disasters may not possible to identify before they happens like tsunami or earth quake . But it is possible to identify the risk and vulnerabilities . As example area close to a volcano, coastal areas, river basins can be suspected as areas under threat of a natural disaster. Information has been collected efficient planning and public education can be done. It will helps to minimize the damage and also for efficient and effective relief work and rehabilitation.

the development wiki

Willing to Mentor

Following contributors are willing to mentor the GSoC-2008,

Mentor Name
Mifan Careem
Ravindra De Silva
Mahesh Kaluarachchi
Sanjeewa Jayasinghe
Prabath Kumarasinghe
Chamindra de Silva
Ishan Liyanage
Ravith Botejue
Gavin Treadgold
Roshan Hewapathirana
Sudheera Fernando
Fran Boon
David Bitner

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