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Andrea H. Tapia, Nicolas LaLone, Elizabeth MacDonald, Reid Priedhorsky, & Hall Hall. (2014). Crowdsourcing rare events: Using curiosity to draw participants into science and early warning systems. In and P.C. Shih. L. Plotnick M. S. P. S.R. Hiltz (Ed.), ISCRAM 2014 Conference Proceedings – 11th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (pp. 135–144). University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University.
Abstract: This research presents a centralized boundary object website and mobile app focused on allowing participants to participate in developing an early warning system through space weather and the beauty of the aurora borealis. Because of the beauty and majesty of auroral activity, people will seek information about when and where these unpredictable events occur. This activity, commonly referred to as nowcasting, can be combined with scientific data collected from observatories and satellites and serve as an early warning system with potentially far greater accuracy and timeliness than the current state of the art. We believe that long-term engagement with a citizen science tool will help bridge the many social worlds surrounding the aurora borealis and lead to the development of an early warning system that may correlate the visibility of the northern lights to violent space weather. We hope this will lead to other real time crowdsourced early warning systems in the future.