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Technical Perspective: Enlisting the Power of the Crowd

Crowdsourcing is a powerful new project management and procurement strategy that enables the realization of values associated with an "open call" to an unlimited pool of people, typically through Web-based technology. Our focus here is on an important form of crowdsourcing where the crowd's task is to generate or source data. Generally speaking, crowd-based data sourcing is invoked to obtain data, to aggregate and/or fuse data, to process data, or, more directly, to develop dedicated applications or solutions over the sourced data.

Wikipedia is probably the earliest and best-known example of crowdsourced data and an illustration of what can be achieved with a crowd-based data-sourcing model. Other examples include social tagging systems for images that harness millions of Web users to build searchable databases of tagged images, traffic information aggregators like Waze, and hotel and movie ratings like TripAdvisor and IMDb.


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