29 April 2014
Post by James Doherty
Cover photo by Ding Yuin Shan
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It’s fair to say that it is exciting times at PyBossa. Not only did we launch our handsome
new platform on 27th March, but we have also grown from a one-man show to a five-a-
side team in just a few months. In this blog post we introduce you to some of the key
features of PyBossa 0.2.1 and to its new dedicated team.
PyBossa is an open source platform that allows you to create web micro-tasking
applications where volunteers can participate using their own web browsers.
It provides a framework around which crowdsourced projects can be easily constructed
allowing anyone – from researchers, to civic hackers, to developers – to connect with
people from all around the world to solve problems quickly and efficiently. Volunteers can
help with image classification, transcription, geocoding and much more.
See the PyBossa overview for how the platform works.
Creating and running crowdsourced projects has never been easier and, indeed, Francois
Grey (Coordinator of the Citizen Cyberscience Centre) has declared that PyBossa 0.2.1 is
“as close to one click crowdsourcing as the world has ever seen”.
Some of its cool features include:
Oh, and did we mention it’s all open source?
The new PyBossa has been described as “PyBeautiful” and “PyGorgeous” on the
Tweetosphere. And its beauty and usability extends to tablets and smartphones, so you
can work on your project on the go…
Here are a few examples of PyBossa-powered applications to whet your appetite for what
you can achieve with the platform:
http://micropasts.org/ – Micropasts is a joint venture between the British Museum and
University College London which invites the public to become citizen archeologists.
http://forestwatchers.net/ – a citizen project for monitoring deforestation.
http://crowdcrafting.org/ – Crowdcrafting hosts a range of crowdsourcing projects on topics
as diverse as: particle collisions at CERN; mapping light pollution from the International
Space Station; and monitoring fracking activities in the US.
If you have a particularly challenging, complicated or large project – DON’T WORRY. The
PyBossa team (meet them below) is on hand to help you create bespoke applications
which meet your needs and those of your contributors.
Here they are, your crowdsourcing dream team:
Daniel is the PyDaddy and has been developing PyBossa for the last few years. He is a
computer engineer by training who, after a few years working in industry, immersed
himself in citizen science projects at the Citzen Cyberscience Centre. He became a
fellow of the Shuttleworth Foundation (the main sponsor of PyBossa) and was charged
with making PyBossa awesome.
Daniel will likely be your first point of contact if you get in touch with PyBossa. Daniel Pett
of the British Museum has described his support as “top draw”.
Marvin has a background in business informatics and now specializes in test automation
and front and back-end web development. He has worked for some heavy-hitters in the hi-
tech industry, including Siemens and Connexions, but is now delighted to be working on
an open-source project.
Alejandro is a mathematician-turn-computer whizz. What excites him about working for
PyBossa is “the feeling that we are making something that will be useful for people and
society, and the way we are doing it.”
Jorge is a pragmatic designer and handicraft front-end coder that helps to make beautiful
and meaningful products and services, including PyBossa. The comments in the
“PyBeautiful” section above made him blush.
James is based in delightful Oxford, UK. He
is a Jack of many trades as a physicist, science communicator, lawyer and musician. In
solidarity with his PyBossa team mates (and as Ireland has not qualified for the World
Cup) he will be supporting Spain this summer. Olé!
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