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We want to get the general public to submit data about items they find in the real world onto an app map.

For example - let's say we're asking birdspotters to log sightings of birds onto the sighting locations on a map (that's not actually what we want them to spot and our birds are always in the same places)

Ideally they'd all play ball and submit just valid data. However our experience so far is that some people will deliberately make up data and put 'dirty' data on the map.

So we need to have a 'data checking' procedure. If we make this too hard and force them to 'verify' themselves (somehow) then there's a danger that users will not bother with one-off data submission.

However if we just let them submit data there's the danger that false data will be submitted to the map - and without actually going to the location and auditing it, it will be impossible to tell false data from true data.

One approach I'd thought of was to have two classes of users:

  • Trusted Users - who sign up and can post data on the map. People who then visit their locations can then score their username giving them an onscreen reputation score. If their Reputation is high we assume they are not making things up; if their Reputation is low them we physically have to go to investigate their data points.

  • One Off Users - they are allowed to enter a datapoint directly on the map (or submit their data which is pre-moderated so that it has to look OK on the map ). But these datapoints visually appear different on the map, and are only converted to a 'verified' data point, when another member of the public has visited this location.

Any ideas on how to tackle this would be appreciated.


Clarifications:

1/ Motivation to submit data is general public spiritedness (a bit like my birdwatching analogy);

2/ I think uncertified data should be usable - most people play ball; it should be realistic for other users to verify it quite quickly (and they would be motivated to report it if it had landed them with a wasted trip)

3/ Anyone can use the app.

4 / Users would be motivated to contribute as it's in their interests for their to be plenty of geographic data points

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Divide the data in three categories:

  1. Unevaluated
  2. Normal
  3. Evaluated

Divide users in three categories:

  1. Untrusted
  2. Normal
  3. Trusted

Untrusted users add unevaluated data, view normal and evaluated data.

Normal users add normal data, view normal and evaluated data.

Trusted users add evaluated data, view any data and may evaluate any data. Also may upgrade users from untrusted to normal.

Think of this as a quarantine zone for untrusted users.

  • You could also automatically upgrade users based on the amount of data they've submitted that was subsequently verified. – Ivo Coumans Feb 8 '17 at 15:36
  • Of course, may be procedures for trusting users or validating data, etc... But I wanted to give a general answer to a general problem. – roetnig Feb 8 '17 at 15:51
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One key question I think of would be relevance. Why should it be relevant to a user to submit that information? What is the benefit for the user to do it? I would guess that identifying the user perspective on this would help you understand how to approach these two groups. What is the motivation to use the app?

Another question: How do you tend to remind the users to actually contribute? Do you build on them being enthusiastic about the app?

Any yet one more: Is "uncertified" data actually usable? Could they probably be "verified" by other users? And if, would that actually happen? Could it probably make sense to not accept non-verified users?

Aaaand more: Can everyone use the app, or is it already a subsegment of previously filtered users that got something like a signup, a landingpage or a newsletter?

I think the most important question I would try to answer is "Why would they contribute?". Move it to the user's perspective! This can maybe help you understand the constraints the user feels using the app.

Sorry for the vague answer, but the scenario you drew could mean a lot of different things! :)

  • 1
    More than a vague answer this is a collection of questions – Devin Jun 10 '16 at 15:12
  • Answers: 1/ Motivation to submit data is general public spiritedness (a bit like my birdwatching analogy); 2/ I think uncertified data should be usable - most people play ball; it should be realistic for other users to verify it quite quickly (and they would be motivated to report it if it had landed them with a wasted trip) 3/ Anyone can use the app. 4 / They would be motivated to contribute as its in their interests for their to be plenty of geographic data points. – PhillipW Jun 10 '16 at 15:29
  • I'll update the question with these clarification points. – PhillipW Jun 10 '16 at 15:31

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