If I am playing Picture Pile to classify what a picture is, why does the game tell me if I'm correct or incorrect? If it already knows the answer, what is the point of the game?
The game sometimes gives the players pictures which have already been validated by experts. This is done in order to train the players and to ensure that they classify the images correctly. The players will receive score points when they agree with the experts and will loose points when they disagree with the experts. For unclassified pictures all answers are treated as correct and the players will always receive score points.
Why do I sometimes get pictures which I have already validated?
In order to train the players and to ensure that they classify the pictures correctly, we give them pictures which have already been validated by experts. Because we have a limited number of pictures validated by experts, it can be that some pictures are given more than once to the same player.
Will the data from the game become available?
Yes, we will make all the collected data openly available, after we have had some time to do quality assurance. We will provide more details about data access in the future through our monthly Geo-Wiki newsletter.
How will the data be used in subsequent scientific research?
We will use the data in a number of different ways. Some of the data will be used to create (or calibrate) the global landcover maps, building upon a hybrid methodology that we have used in the past. Some of the data will be used for validation (as an independent sample) to check the accuracy of global land cover maps. We will also mine the dataset to look for patterns regarding quality, e.g. how many samples do you need to provide to the 'crowd' before you can be confident in the answers? Are there regional patterns that emerge from the data? Etc. These types of very interesting questions will help improve the science behind the use of crowdsourced data for scientific research. We are eventually planning to map the whole world this way.