Planet Four
January 9, 2013 6:28 AM   Subscribe

With the help of Stargazing Live, 10,506 citizen scientists are exploring the surface of Mars like never before.
posted by Dr. Fetish (8 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Citizen! Science!
posted by joecacti at 6:43 AM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Works fine on my iPad 1. I imagine I'll be using it even more now.
posted by curious nu at 7:26 AM on January 9, 2013

Interesting notion of leveraging human inquisitiveness coupled with the child-like "look, I'm helping" attribute of untrained fools/slaves generating data that will probably end up tweeted with the #overlyhonestmethods hashtag of:
#overlyhonestmethods identified penis shaped sublimation fan on surface of Mars using unverified, group sourced chart
posted by coachfortner at 8:22 AM on January 9, 2013

WHoa that's fun! And scientistic!
posted by Mister_A at 8:26 AM on January 9, 2013

Speaking as a one-time science educator, the value to the individual of this kind of recruitment is inferior even to most third-grade science courses. And that's saying something.

'Circle this black blob' is not learning science. Maybe the creators of these sites ought to stop to realize they owe something to the people they're trying to lineup as grunt volunteers, like the grads and undergrads who used to get corralled into the endlessly boring job of looking at bubble-chamber pictures.

The same goes for 95% of the 'citizen scientist' (at least one of those words is ironic in the context) sites I've checked out. Typically they take, take, take for a long time before they ask themselves what they're giving back. At least when Seti-At-Home did that, all they asked for was cycles.
posted by Twang at 9:14 AM on January 9, 2013

At least when Seti-At-Home did that, all they asked for was cycles.

I couldn't get anything to show up, so apparently that site asks for more cycles than my computer is willing to give.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:58 AM on January 9, 2013

Martian version of Previously *ocean floor content.
posted by PistachioRoux at 2:13 PM on January 9, 2013

At a summer work study job in college I made a program that was used to identify abnormalities in photographs much like this. And that was before I really knew how to program. In what way is this useful? I can see circling interesting features, but circling "dark spots" is trivial.
posted by lubujackson at 7:39 PM on January 9, 2013

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