Friday, October 2, 2009

Crowdsourcing coming to iPhone apps, big time

If you've ever been driving down the highway and looked at the Google Maps application on an iPhone to see what traffic is like ahead, you may have wondered where the data behind the green, yellow, and red lines indicating real-time vehicle flow come from. In fact, the data are coming from people just like you: users of smartphones with GPS who, by the very act of driving down the highway, are feeding back information about how fast they're going to Google, which in turn is sending it back to users of its mobile map apps. Users of the Google Maps iPhone app can get real-time traffic flow data that is based on the passive participation of other users. This is an example of mobile crowdsourcing, something that is a growing trend, especially on iPhones.
Which means, of course, that the application itself is crowdsourced...
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