Crowdsourcing the Pakistani Flood Relief

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In yet another example of how aid organizations are harnessing the power of the Web, CrowdFlower, which sells crowdsourced labor to companies, has lent its software to the folks over at PakReport who are collecting first-hand accounts of the damage done by the recent flooding in Pakistan. It's as easy as filling out some forms.

For the time-intensive task of translating, categorizing, and geolocating these messages, volunteers from anywhere in the world can come online to help process each report simply by reading the message and filling out a form.

CrowdFlower's internal workings allow us to automatically cross-check this work among multiple volunteers so that the information is not susceptible to the potential errors of any one volunteer. This ensures data-quality for the aid agencies using the data and means that the volunteers can help without fear of accidently introducing bad information.

Here are instructions on volunteering. Read the full post at CrowdFlower.

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Niraj Chokshi is a former staff editor at TheAtlantic.com, where he wrote about technology. He is currently freelancing and can be reached through his personal website, NirajC.com. More

Niraj previously reported on the business of the nation's largest law firms for The Recorder, a San Francisco legal newspaper. He has also been published in The Hartford Courant, The Seattle Times and The Age, in Melbourne, Australia. He's also a longtime programmer and sometimes website designer.
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