Crowdsourcing opens new avenues for researchers and industry

Isn’t it fascinating how rapidly things evolve? It was not too long ago that outsourcing was all the rage. In the present scenario, the trending concept of crowdsourcing is proving to be more fruitful. Unlike outsourcing, which metes out tasks to a defined group of people, crowdsourcing distributes tasks to random people who aren’t on a fixed payroll or who aren’t a fixture of the concerned organisation. Roles can be assigned to students or researchers online and offline as well.

Crowdsourcing is thriving at a fast rate in Australia. Under the banner of DesignCrowd, an online platform for crowdsourcing has been launched in India, Singapore and the Philippines. It outsources various design projects to a wide range of freelance designers spread across the globe. India is DesignCrowd’s fourth largest source of users.

Although the concept of crowdsourcing is very alien to the major chunk of the country, it is gradually gaining momentum in certain cities. For instance, Bangalore based Jade Magnet launched DesignCrowd platform in 2009. Of late, Jade Magnet has been launching its services to other Asian markets.  All credit goes to the Internet for bridging together distant continents and making it possible for diverse bunches of people to share ideas, tackle problems and innovate. Planet Hunters, a brand new website collaboration between Adler Planetarium, Yale University and Zooniverse would’ve never come into existence if not for the world of crowdsourcing. Now, armchair astronomers can report about their findings after stargazing.

Additionally, the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has introduced changes y adding an “open innovation” dimension to R&D. To stimulate more research, GSK has made its tuberculosis compound library available. For now, visitors have access to data of almost 4,500 clinical trial results (positive or negative) summaries. Open Lab was established two years ago to allow independent researchers access to GSK facilities, resources and knowledge to support their progress researching diseases of the developing world.

Techpedia serves as an open collaboration and innovation platform. It draws ideas from students and aims at putting them into practice.  A bunch of students from the international Institute of Information Technology Hyderabad (IIITH) worked towards finding solutions to the urban planning predicament that is traffic. They have arrived at a couple of innovative solutions that would require the assistance of civil engineering or by simply drawing a limit to the density. This project aims to develop a real-time traffic information system helping a user to check the traffic density on various roads. Essentially, this project is classified into three different stages- Collection, Processing and Visualisation. Censors, data processing, GIS, an android application and a web interface are all part and parcel of this project.


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