A chance search of Google threw up this interesting website openpostbox.org. Calling openpostbox.org a website will not be appropriate. It is more of a webapplication. The author has clearly brought out how he is using Instagram to source data provided by volunteers. In this article we shall explore openpostbox.org, its design and objectives.
What is crowdsourcing
Crowdsourcing is an amalgamation of the words crowd and sourcing. Sourcing word is commonly used in the scenario of outsourcing. Outsourcing is the process where you give your work to someone else and pay for it. So a small office of say 50 employees may outsource their canteen services to another firm. Employees pay a certain amount to that firm. In return, the firm gives snacks, tea or such things to the employees. The office and their employees can focus on their core work. The other firm has a complete infrastructure and expertise to provide canteen services. This is a win win situation for all. Outsourcing is the buzz word these days.
Crowd Sourcing on the other hand is a type of outsourcing. A work or task is split into minute amount of work and distributed among a large team. This team can spread across a large geographical area too. Payment models are very flexible. Online jobs are gaining popularity due to easy internet access.
In internet parlance, one type crowd sourcing also refers to open source where volunteers come together for a task. No fees is paid to volunteers. Open Postbox is one such effort.
How does Open Postbox work
Volunteers need to be users of Instagram. Instagram is a photo and video sharing smartphone app. It has evolved into a wonderful and captivating Social Network. Read more about Instagram as a blogging tool here.
Volunteers need to follow three basic steps.
- Click a photo of the post box at its location
- Use the hash tag of #openpostboxindia and #pin
- Geo tag the photo and upload
At the back end the web application and Instagram API neatly picks up the photos and the data to bring it into the website, openpostbox.org
A detailed description of the procedure to be followed is given at the following link
Here is a screen capture of the main website.
If the user clicks on any photo, the relevant post box with the map location is displayed.
Author of openpostbox.org
Who so ever thought about the concept and implemented it, kudos. A nice idea and clever programming. And very soon we should be having lots of volunteers adding info. Here is the author blog.
Before finishing off the article, here is the post regarding the biggest post box in the country and possibly the world. And it is functional too.