27 February 2014

Community mapping in the news

Dr. Im is in the news again, this time for a very popular pothole mapping effort.

One of the continuing issues in crowdsourcing is how unpredictable the crowd response can be. I mean I can offer a crass pop psychology explanation of why this one has taken off (everyday experience, slow government response, appearance of accessibility) relative to something like wildlife or sewer outfalls. But we still see some fairly similar efforts wallowing with just a few data contributions. I wish we had a better sense of the motivating factors so that when we need to work on something important, but admittedly less sexy, we could better know how to improve the odds of success without a marketing staff of 20.

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