We asked specialists to hack OpenEvsys, our software for documenting human rights violations, and we asked users what they want. The result is OpenEvsys 2.1 – a major update for improved security, analysis features and design.
With enhanced security and more powerful analysis tools OpenEvsys sees a major update. HURIDOCS’ software for documenting human rights violations features a revised look, making it easier for activists and groups to use it.
To date, OpenEvsys is already used worldwide with larger networks, national human rights institutions, NGOs and rights groups. Their feedback guided HURIDOCS in the process of making OpenEvsys work better for them and everyone who will be using Openevsys in the future.
OpenEvsys 2.1 builds on existing strengths and adds new ones
- Even more attractive and user-friendly – now with better design based on Twitter Bootstrap, making OpenEvsys well-accessible on tablets and easier to customize according to the way you work.
- Charts, maps and a dashboard – a faceted search, integrated maps, graphs and diagrams that help you understand your data, in addition to the existing advanced search.
- More secure – we had it tested by independent security experts and improved it to protect it against SQL injection vulnerabilities.
- Field and taxonomy manager – create your own fields and taxonomies with a constructor that is web-based and is easy to use
New faceted search, great graphs, marvellous maps
Particularly noteworthy is a faceted search – one where users can click themselves through keywords to explore data and introduce filters as they go along, instead of having to build a query.
The results can be displayed in multiple ways – on maps, in graphs or diagrams, and users can change how their data is displayed. Thanks to this, OpenEvsys offers fast analytics that can be adjusted to give you exactly what you are looking for.
To enable the maps, we added geo-tagging as a feature, meaning the precise location of an event or act can be plotted on a map or as a marker.
We’ve also added taxonomy-based mapping, using the Local Geographic Terms thesauri. This means that you’ll be able to add the geo-codes for all your local geographic locations, and then use this taxonomy to tag your events, acts, or persons, rather than plotting them on a map. This is relevant if the precise location is not that important, meaning its enough to know that it happened in village X, you don’t need or know the exact street. This will save time, too. You can include prisons and police stations in your local geographic terms, and tag your persons by prison, to produce a map of all prisoners of conscience by prison, for example.
Better design for a better user experience on more devices
OpenEvsys 2.1 looks better using Twitter Bootstrap for a neat and clean design. Functionality is still the most important element of OpenEvsys, but better design saves users time and effort.
Twitter Boostrap is an html framework used by more and more developers to make their web applications look and behave great in the latest desktop browsers, and also in tablet and smartphone browsers via responsive CSS. We also spent a lot of time polishing the interface to make it even more intuitive for users.
Field and taxonomy manager
OpenEvsys has default fields and taxonomies based on the established Events format yet it can also be adjusted to work style. In OpenEvsys 2.1 we’ve made it easier for you to create your own fields and taxonomies. You can easily make OpenEvsys work the way you already work by adding, editing, or deleting the fields of your choice.
Security to protect your data
We work hard to make OpenEvsys as secure as possible and take all concerns seriously, given the inherent risks of data storage on the Internet. As such, we recoded OpenEvsys to close all identified security gaps.
Some security-related elements:
- HURIDOCS provides OpenEvsys hosting to NGOs who do not have this technical capacity. This costs 500 USD per year and includes default SSL encryption of communications (https), installation of patches and bug fixes, and daily offline backups of the databases.
- In certain cases, we can also implement other measures such as IP-range restrictions or computer-specific authentification certificates.
- Make sure you are using a strong password, are not storing it in your browser and are not sending it around in unencrypted messages.
- OpenEvsys can also be hosted locally on a computer or server with no access to the internet (some NGOs do this). Or if used online, very sensitive information such as source names can be kept separately just to be on the safe side.