White Glove Tracking

The never-ending discussions about MJ in various contexts sometimes leads you to talk about pop culture in conjunction with concepts such as "crowd sourcing" and "social web". This is what happened yesterday when I brought back the White Glove Tracking project in a social web meeting. It was a crowd sourcing experiment form 2007 created by Evan Roth and Ben Engebreth that asked an online community to help track Michael Jackson’s white glove from a televised performance, in 10'600 frames. It took then 72 hours to go from the txt files to user-generated visualizations of the data collected using Processing. Some of the results can be found in the white glove gallery.

Why do I blog this? beyond the MJ thing, I find this crowdsourcing instance quite curious (among others like the Nasa Clickworkers project) and some hilarious examples (like the big white glove that fits quite well with the Billie Jean bass line). A sort of testbed for distributed visual data analysis where human eyeballs are quite efficient.

What I also find intriguing here is the social dynamic around it, see for instance both the different categories in the gallery ("the winners") and the sort of "rankings" of participants (see below). I am always amazed by pervasive rankings even, perhaps they play a role in crowdsourcing experiments: