15 Jun 2018

Crowdsourcing in the DH – Five Case Studies

Guest lecture on crowdsourcing in the Digital Humanities.

Crowdsourcing in the Digital Humanities – Five Case Studies

According to Terras (2015) crowdsourcing in the Digital Humanities can be described as "the harnessing of online activities and behavior to aid in large-scale ventures such as tagging, commenting, rating, reviewing, text correction, and the creation and uploading of content in a methodical, task-based fashion".

This week I gave a guest lecture in the ongoing citizen science class in Leipzig, held by Thomas Köntges. I presented a number of past and ongoing crowdsourcing projects that illustrate the wide range of opportunities to make use of crowdsourcing.

Probably the most important lessons learned from all of those crowdsourcing projects would be:

  • Make sure to present the task in a user-friendly and possibly even playful way to the crowd.
  • Unless you have money to spend on Amazon mTurk or similar platforms, try to identify users who are intrinsically motivated and who will enjoy being part of a group of like-minded, who try to achieve a common goal together (providing some social / communication features can help a lot).

Preview of the slides

Crowdsourcing case studies:

  1. BagTag (link)
  2. Streetartfinder (link)
  3. Latrinalia (no longer available online)
  4. Facebook Dialect Lexicon (TEDx video)
  5. Allegro Music Transcription (link)
  1. Burghardt, M. & Spanner, S. (2017). Allegro: User-centered Design of a Tool for the Crowdsourced Transcription of Handwritten Music Scores. Proceedings of the DATeCH (Digital Access to Textual Cultural Heritage) conference. ACM.
  2. Burghardt, M., Spanner, S., Schmidt, T., Fuchs, F., Buchhop, K., Nickl, M., & Wolff, C. (2017). Digitale Erschließung einer Sammlung von Volksliedern aus dem deutschsprachigen Raum. In Book of Abstracts, DHd 2017.
  3. Burghardt, M., Hertlein, F., Hinterleitner, B., Lehenmeier, C. & Spröd, T. (2015). A Crowdsourced Approach for the Documentation and Transcription of Graffiti in Public Restrooms. In Proceedings of the 14th International Symposium of Information Science (ISI 2015).
  4. Burghardt, M., Schneider, P., Bogatzki, C. & Wolff, C. (2015). StreetartFinder – Eine Datenbank zur Dokumentation von Kunst im urbanen Raum. In Book of Abstracts, DHd 2015.
  5. Meier, F., Bazo, A., Burghardt, M. & Wolff, C. (2015). A Crowdsourced Encoding Approach for Handwritten Sheet Music. In J. Roland, Perry; Kepper (Hg.), Music Encoding Conference Proceedings 2013 and 2014 (S. 127–130).