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“Be a Martian:” Crowdsourcing Data Analysis

Following the theory that humans will happily grind through boring tasks for the chance to win virtual “prizes,” NASA has teamed with Microsoft to create the Be a Martian program. (It’s unfortunate that Microsoft Silverlight is required for anything on the site to work, but whatever.)

Users play “games” that require them to sift through the hundreds of thousands of photos of Mars that have been sent back by rovers and orbiters, helping to classify them and giving researchers a leg up on understanding the data that’s been collected. In return, they earn points that go toward badges. They ought to slap a “John Carter” theme on the games and go after the WoW demographic.

There are articles about the program here and here, and if you have a compatible browser you can visit the Be a Martian site and help count craters. Whee.

(via 80beats)

Posted in Space November 27th, 2009 by Chip
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