Crowdsourcing Asset Intelligence

Organisations are starting to tap into the information gathered by crowds to help solve seemingly insurmountable problems in faster and more cost-effective ways.

Researchers in the Netherlands are encouraging the public to register the location of life-saving automated external defibrillators via the mobile web, so that anyone can quickly locate an AED during a cardiac arrest emergency using a smart phone app. Researchers knew there were approximately 20,000 AEDs throughout the Netherlands yet there was no central register. Now the location of more than 12,000 AED devices in the Netherlands have been registered and the initiative is going global.

Another example can be found in the Maritime transportation sector. It might surprise most of us that the 40,000+ kilometres of the US coastal and inland waterways have never been completely surveyed so maps are incomplete, out of date and there is limited data as to where hazards might cause interruptions or serious accidents. In 2008 alone there were 322 recreational vessel groundings, resulting in 13 deaths, 241 injuries and US$3.4 million in property damage. However a system known as ARGUS [Autonomous Remote Global Underwater Surveillance] is being trialled whereby data can be collected by any ship and consolidated and shared with all maritime operations for better decision-making.

RootMetrics offers a mobile application for US smartphone users which collects data about carrier signal quality and data speeds. Consumers can view the unbiased crowdsourced data which compares carriers side-by-side, aiding consumer purchasing decisions.

Also in the US, SeeClickFix uses crowdsourcing to identify neighbourhood issues. Anyone from the community can report non-emergency issues such as pot holes, overflowing bins, graffiti and faulty street lights via a website and smartphone apps. At the time of writing this blog post their website currently states that over 805,502 issues have been fixed as a result of this platform.

DigitalGlobe is a commercial vendor of geospatial content and operator of civilian satellites and has posted imagery to a website in an effort to crowdsource clues to the location of the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777. This is a deeply human example of how to utilise web-based information sharing platforms to support highly-complex emergency response operations.

Relegen foresees significant advances in the improvement of asset information of all kinds as a result of crowdsourced data. This capability can equip governments, organisations and end-consumers with real-time, real-world intelligence previously unavailable to them, thus greatly enhancing the accuracy and efficiency of decision making.

To read about other ways crowdsourced data is being used to tackle asset information challenges, click here to download our whitepaper ‘Asset Intelligence: What it is and why it is critical now’.