Why Classify?

Citizen Sort is a citizen science project from a group of students at Syracuse University. The goal of citizen science projects is to engage volunteers and amateur scientists to participate in science related tasks. Scientists usually have an abundant amount of data, in different forms. Citizen Sort is working with different teams of researchers to incorporate their data, photographs of different species, into our citizen science video games. By playing Hunt & Gather, Happy Match! and Forgotten Island you will become a member of their research team. Your classifications will help scientists sort through the photos and determine the species.

Volunteer Science

Citizen science is a major goal of the Citizen Sort project. We are working with scientists to help them with classification tasks. Student programmers at Syracuse University created a database for the scientists’ thousands and thousands of photos. You can choose which version of Hunt & Gather, Happy Match! and Forgotten Island to play. There is a moth, shark, ray and plant version of the games. Each follows the same overall pattern with the goal of helping scientists with classification tasks. In Hunt & Gather you can sort through one of the public collections, or ask permission to sort through another, you can organically create a taxonomic classification key. You can choose to categorize the photos based on any category you think is important. For more structured gameplay, check out Happy Match!. You can still participate in citizen science but in this game the questions are more structured. The scientists designed the questions themselves. As a user, you will drag images of an animal, plant or insect into the answer along the bottom. At the end of each game you will receive a score. You can post your score on the Citizen Sort universal score board or check out your personal dashboard to see all your times and scores. In the video game Forgotten Island you will use your handy atomic classifier to classify the photographs, similar to Happy Match!. Of course, in Forgotten Island, the classification tasks are intermixed with stunning gameplay, stunning locations and evil robots.

It’s Science

Whether you play one of our three video games, or all three!, you will be participating in citizen science. By classifying a photo of a moth for example by main wing color, you are providing real and useful data to scientific research. Your classifications, or answers, will  be recorded, anonymously, and sent to the scientist. The researcher can then look over the classifications and determine the species.

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