Microtask, a Finnish company, attempted a new approach in the digitization effort of the National Library of Finland. Optical character recognition (OCR) software, with which scanned documents are converted from image to searchable text, can be prone to errors that can affect accuracy and indexing. Unfortunately, these mistakes can be corrected only by human hands, and that is a time-consuming task.

The Daily Crowd Source brought this news to our attention in their article, “A Game of Moles: Crowdsourcing the Archives of the Finnish National Library.” To make the daunting task a little more fun for the user, Microtask and the National Library of Finland collaborated in search of a way to leverage crowdsourcing to correct these mistakes. This resulted in the creation of two games, Mole Bridge and Mole Hunt.

By having the players play and check each other’s work at the same time, this constant proofing ensures accuracy and repackages a formerly boring and repetitive task into something fun and productivity boosting.

Hmm, wonder if that would work for weeding the garden?

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.