Defining the Undefined: Harnessing the Power of Public Consensus in the Search for Genghis Khan's Tomb
High-resolution, multi-spectral imagery holds great promise for the detection of archaeological sites, yet presents a major challenge due to the enormous data set size when studied on a regional scale. Dealing with this type of “Big Data” makes the swift transformation of data into information and subsequently, understanding, knowledge. strategy and finally decision, vital for search and discovery efforts. Crowdsourcing holds the promise to galvanize the strengths of large cohorts of individuals to approach problems that are computationally difficult and inefficient. Our research introduces a crowdsourcing approach to search for sites that are ambiguous and difficult to locate. In the presented approach, possible locations are tagged by participants, leading to hundreds of thousands of individual annotations. These tags naturally cluster on centers of consensus, uniquely capable of identifying cultural heritage sites, as was demonstrated by on-site validation of the findings.