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Active Distributed Computing Projects - Distributed Human Projects

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Project Information Project % Complete Major Supported Platforms
Distributed Proofreaders Help proofread electronic texts for Project Gutenberg (PG) at Distributed Proofreaders (DP).

On February 19, 2003, DP posted its 1,000th project to PG. In August, 2003, the project set a record of 129,273 pages proofread in one month. On September 3, 2003, DP posted its 2,000th project. On October 15, 2003, PG published its 10,000th ebook, a goal which was set in 1971. On January 14, 2004, DP posted its 3,000th project. On April 8, 2004, DP posted its 4,000th book. On August 21, 2004, DP posted its 5,000th project. On October 8, 2004, DP posted its 5,000th unique title. On February 2, 2005, DP posted its 6,000th unique title. On June 27, 2005, DP posted its 7,000th unique title. On February 8, 2006, DP posted its 8,000th unique title. On September 11, 2006, DP posted its 9,000th unique title. On March 9, 2007, DP posted its 10,000th unique title. On September 12, 2007, DP posted its 11,000th unique title. In September, 2008, DP posted its 14,000th unique title. In October, 2009, DP posted its 16,000th unique title. In June, 2010, DP posted its 18,000th unique title. The project celebrated its tenth anniversary on October 4, 2010. In January, 2011, DP posted its 22,000th unique title. In June, 2012 it posted its 23,000th unique title. On April 10, 2013 it posted its 25,000th unique title.

To participate, create an account, then select a proofreading project from a list. A proofreading interface is displayed in your web browser, and you can proofread pages for the project one at a time. The project has personal stats pages and rankings for proofreaders so that each proofreader can see how he or she is doing compared to other proofreaders. You can also become a project manager and prepare proofreading projects for the site, and you can reassemble proof-read projects for submission to Project Gutenberg.

Join a discussion forum about this project.

Audio versions of some of the books in Project Gutenberg are being created in the Gutenberg Audio Books project.

Read a November 15, 2005, interview of Michael Hart, the founder of Project Gutenberg, by Dr. Samuel Vaknin.

ongoing:
27,140 books completed as of April 26, 2013
N/A
Distributed Proofreaders Europe Help proofread electronic texts at Distributed Proofreaders Europe. This project "is a service of Project Gutenberg Europe, Project Rastko, and the Global Translation Project. It has the ability [to proofread] books in any Unicode-supported language."

The project submitted its first book to Project Gutenberg on February 9, 2004. It submitted its 100th book to Project Gutenberg on March 31, 2005.

To participate, create an account, then select a proofreading project from a list. A proofreading interface is displayed in your web browser, and you can proofread pages for the project one at a time. The project has personal stats pages and rankings for proofreaders so that each proofreader can see how he or she is doing compared to other proofreaders. You can also become a project manager and prepare proofreading projects for the site, and you can reassemble proof-read projects for submission to Project Gutenberg.

Join a discussion forum about this project.

ongoing:
787 books completed as of January 27, 2012
N/A
NEW!
Distributed Proofreaders Canada Help proofread electronic texts for Project Gutenberg Canada (PGC) at Distributed Proofreaders Canada (DPC). This projct focuses on books published in Canada, but may also include books from other countries.

To participate, create an account, then select a proofreading project from a list. A proofreading interface is displayed in your web browser, and you can proofread pages for the project one at a time. The project has personal stats pages and rankings for proofreaders so that each proofreader can see how he or she is doing compared to other proofreaders. You can also become a project manager and prepare proofreading projects for the site, and you can reassemble proof-read projects for submission to Project Gutenberg Canada.

Join a discussion forum about this project.

ongoing:
books completed
N/A
20Q.net Twenty Questions, "the neural net on the Internet," is an experimental artificial intelligence system which asks you to think of an object and then tries to quess what the object is by asking you twenty (more or less) questions. It learns from the answers you give to its questions. The more people play this game with it, the more it learns. The project website is also available in Spanish, French, German, and other languages. ongoing N/A
Help teach indoor mobile robots to be smarter in the Open Mind Indoor Common Sense project. This project will create a repository of knowledge which will enable people to create more intelligent mobile robots for use in home and office enviornments.

Starting on November 9, 2006, the project is offering participants a US$25 Amazon.com gift certificate if they submit 1000 accepted entries. Only entries submitted after November 9, 2006 will count. Each participant can earn a lifetime maximum of 20 gift certificates. A maximum of 900 gift certificates will be awarded. 777 gift certificates have been awarded as of June 18, 2008. The project has temporarily stopped awarding gift certificates as of January, 2009. As of 2011 the project is also running on Amazon Mechanical Turk.

This project is part of the OpenMind Initiative to develop "intelligent" software.

ongoing: 3,735 registered users have submitted 1,184,388 items as of December 8, 2011. N/A

Help The ESP Game label images on the Internet. The project presents a Java applet game to volunteers. A pair of volunteers is shown a series of images and must type the same one-word description of an image within a time limit. The more images the pair tags, and the faster they type the same description, the more points they score. Each volunteer's points accumulate. The project associates a set of one-word descriptions for each of the images it indexes. The images can be searched through the project site.

To participate in the project, sign up for a user account, then click on the Play Now button. Your browser should load a Java applet in a new window and provide further instructions for playing the game.

ongoing:
images labeled
N/A

Help develop common sense artificial intelligence at questsin. The project is attempting to "cluster information into sets, made up of related elements (words to start with, followed by concepts, ideas etc) and their potential hierarchies." You can help build the information sets by entering lists of related terms into the interface on the project's main web page. Data collected by the project will eventually be made available to the public in raw form, similar to other projects. For now the project gives immediate results and can be used as a research tool on its own.

Learn more about the algorithms behind the project in the project owner's blog.

Join a discussion forum about the project.

ongoing N/A

Get paid to "complete simple tasks that people do better than computers" in Amazon Mechanical Turk. Participants can choose from many available HITs (Human Intelligence Tasks) to work on, accept a HIT and submit results through the project website, and be paid when their results are approved by the person or group listing the HIT. The money you earn is deposited in your Amazon.com account, and you can transfer it from there into your personal checking account or to your Amazon.com gift certificate balance. You must be 18 or older to participate in the project.
ongoing paid project

N/A

Stardust@Home
Help Stardust@Home find grains of interstellar dust in an aerogel particle collector which was returned from NASA's Stardust space probe to Earth on January 15, 2006. Participants (who first go through web-based training and pass a qualification test) can access a "virtual microscope" through a web page and then look for interstellar dust grains in "focus movies" (stacks of microscopic images created from the Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector).

The project may have found its first particle on March 7, 2010.

From the project website: "Finding the incredibly tiny interstellar dust impacts in the Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector (SIDC) will be extremely difficult. Because dust detectors on the Ulysses and Galileo spacecraft have detected interstellar dust streaming into the solar system, we know there should be about 45 interstellar dust impacts in the SIDC. These impacts can only be found using a high-magnification microscope with a field of view smaller than a grain of salt. But the aerogel collector that we have to search enormous by comparison, about a tenth of a square meter (about a square foot) in size. The job is roughly equivalent to searching for 45 ants in an entire football field, one 5cm by 5cm (2 inch by 2 inch) square at a time! More than 1.6 million individual fields of view will have to be searched to find the interstellar dust grains. We estimate that it would take more than twenty years of continuous scanning for us to search the entire collector by ourselves."

As of September 6, 2006 the project has identified several possible interstellar dust tracks. Now the project owners have to figure out the best way to remove the tracks from the aerogel so the tracks can be examined more closely. On Septmeber 18, 2006, the CAPTEM Stardust Oversight Committee met to decide how best to investigate the potential interstellar dust tracks. On September 26, they decided to learn what they can from viewing the tiles from different sides, while experimenting with ways to remove the tracks using the "flight spare" tile. As of October 6, 2006, over 20 million searches have been completed by project participants, and more than 1/4 of of the aerogel collector has been scanned. As of December 1, 2006, "about 600 high-resolution focus movies of candidate extraterrestrial tracks" have been created. The movies will be analyzed at Berkeley. As of June 8, 2007, the project is practicing extracting insterstellar dust tracks preparing to extract actual insterstellar dust tracks. Phase 1 of the project completed successfully at the end of July, 2007. In the 11 months that phase lasted, participants analyzed over one third of the tiles and identified several dozen candidate tracks. Phase 2 began on August 10, 2007. This phase doubled the resolution of the focus movies to find even smaller candidate dust tracks. Phase 3 began on March 22, 2010. This phase looks for "midnight tracks," tracks with an unusual 90 degree angle of entry into the detector.

On February 13, 2008, the first track, I1017,2, was physcially extracted from the Stardust interstellar dust collector. The particle at the end of the track is 200 microns below the surface. More information about the extraction is available in the project's blog. Non-desctructive synchrotron x-ray fluorescence analysis of the first track was completed during the last week of February, 2008. The particle contains large amounts of iron and nickel, two elements common in extraterrestrial materials. A status update for the results of the first 6 tracks was given on July 31, 2008. None of the tracks appear to be Interstellar.

On January 20, 2010, the project found a probable interstellar dust particle, named Orion. The particle was found in an unpredicted "midnight" track, a track with an angle of 90 degrees.

On January 14, 2009, the project posted an Interstellar Preliminary Examination - Update, a 10-minute narrated slide show about the ISPE and the first of a series of updates. See all of the updates.

On October 15, 2009, the project published its first "Duster" paper, "Non-destructive search for interstellar dust using synchrotron microprobes." This peer-reviewed journal article includes some project participants (i.e. Dusters) among its authors.

See an image that shows which aerogel tiles have been scanned and which are in progress.

See the Alpha List (login required) of the best candidate particle tracks discovered so far.

See a live webcam view of the Stardust Cleanroom at the Johnson Space Center. See images of comet particles retrieved from Stardust. The images were released on February 20, 2006. See a Stardust status update published on February 21, 2006, and ISPE Update Six.

Join a discussion forum about the project.

ongoing N/A
Herbaria@home
Help Herbaria@home document and make public the information from thousands of herbarium sheets from university and museum collections. Herbarium sheets (dried, pressed plant collections) can be a valuable resource for botanical, ecological and historic research. Among many potential uses, data from the project could help with climate-change research, conservation, taxonomy and studies of biodiversity. Even just knowing that a particular specimen exists can be extremely useful for a botanist or historian.

The botanical records created by the project are immediately made public on the project website and will also be given to national and international biodiversity databases. The project is supported by the Botanical Collections Managers Group, with specimens for the pilot project coming from Manchester Museum's herbarium. Once the project is well-established, it will be expand to include other collections.

In 2011 and 2012 the project "concentrated work on the South London Botanical Institute's collection." In 2012 the project also "completed a pilot project of several thousand specimens from Kew." In 2013 the project will begin "a major new documentation project at Leicester University's herbarium and also specimens from Shrewsbury and Leeds." As of January 1, 2013, the project has documented over 114,000 herbarium specimens.

You can participate in the project by viewing images of herbarium sheets through the project website and by transcribing the details from each sheet label (for example the species name, collector, date of collection, site, etc.). You don't need any particular botanical experience in order to help. To participate, sign up for a user account at the project website, then click the Allocate Specimens link (or select a page from the "Sheets to document" section.

Join a discussion forum about the project (registration is required).

ongoing;
135,098 specimens processed
N/A
systemic
Help systemic search for and describe extrasolar planetary systems using professional astronomical images and data on the Internet. You do not need to have any prior experience or expertise with Astronomy to participate: you can learn everything you need to know through the project website. systemic is not an organized project: it provides tools to amateurs to conduct searches on their own. Amateurs who make discoveries need to publish their discoveries on their own. systemic's main page is a weblog about the latest discoveries in the fields of extrasolar planet discovery and solar system exploration. See more information about the project.

To participate in the project, look for a collection of links on the right side of the main page, under the headers "Pages:" and "Links." These links explain how to participate in the "discovery and characterization of extrasolar planets." You can download a Java-based software package to work with extrasolar planet data and you can use the Systemic Backend collaborative environment to work with other amateur searchers.

ongoing N/A
Galaxy Zoo
Help Galaxy Zoo classify over one million newly-discovered galaxies. The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) is completing a detailed optical survey of over 1/4 of the sky and is generating a 3-dimensional map of over one million galaxies and quasars. Most of these galaxies have not been classified. Computers are not able to classify them easily, but humans are good at classifying them visually. See more information about the project. See the latest discoveries and project news in the project blog and twitter feed. The project is available in Polish as of July 29, 2009, and will soon be available in other languages.

On February 18, 2009, the project began Galaxy Zoo 2, which asks participants to provide more detailed classification data for the project's 250,000 "brightest and most interesting galaxies." The project reached its initial goal of 40 million classification by October 9, 2009. It reached 50 million clasisfications by December 2, 2009. It reached its goal of 60 million classifications on April 11, 2010.

On April 23, 2010, the project began Galaxy Zoo Hubble, which asks participants to classify galaxies from hundreds of thousands of images from the Hubble Space Telescope.

On May 30, 2008, the project was approved for 7 orbits of observation time from the Hubble Space Telecope (HST) sometime after the telescope is serviced in October, 2008. Galaxy Zoo will observe the Voorwerp object, which was first discovered by a Galaxy Zoo participant.

On April 1, 2009, at about 7 PM EST (midnight UTC, April 2), the project began a challenge to classify 1 million galaxies in 100 hours, to celebrate 100 Hours of Astronomy. Project participants classified 1.5 million galaxies by the end of the challenge. Also, on April 3, 2009, the project classified its 20 millionth galaxy.

On June 18, 2009, the project submitted its 11th paper, "Galaxy Zoo: Exploring the Motivations of Citizen Science Volunteers", to Astronomy Education Review. On August 5, 2009, the project submitted a new paper, "Reproducing Galaxy Morphologies Via Machine Learning." The paper demonstrates that by using the visual classifications generated by Galaxy Zoo to train an artificial neural network to identify galaxies, the network can identify new galaxies with greater than 90% accuracy. Computers will help humans keep up with the quickly increasing amounts of new data generated in the future.

On January 13, 2010, a paper titled "Galaxy Zoo: Dust in Spirals" studying the dust content of spiral galaxies was published.

On January 18, 2010, a paper on AGN host galaxies (galaxies whose supermassive black holes are feeding/growing) that the project submitted in 2009 was accepted by the Astrophysical Journal.

The project began its bar drawing sub-project on September 18, 2009, and completed it on January 27, 2010. The project asked for participants' help "with more detailed classifications and to perform some new tasks for a selection of galaxies, some of which have 'bars'. We use the Google Maps interface to allow you to draw and manipulate lines and ellipses, performing crucial tests of automated pipelines and acquiring information which has never before been captured.

"Your help will enable us to better understand how bars effect their hosts. Our complete science rational can be seen here.

To participate in the project, complete a tutorial to learn how to classify galaxies, then view images via the project website and classify them.

Join a discussion forum about the project.

ongoing N/A
Project Budburst
Help Project Budburst track the dates on which native tree and plant species leaf or flower across the U.S. Data gathered from the project will help scientists track climate changes which might be caused by global warming. Results from the project will be available at the end of the blooming season, in about July, 2008.

To participate in the project, follow the instructions on the Participate page.

ongoing N/A
Foldit
Play the Foldit game to fold proteins into three-dimensional shapes and to help scientists to better predict how proteins fold into those shapes. Eventually participants will be able to design all-new proteins. Learn more about the science behind the game.

The game "takes players through a series of practice levels designed to teach the basics of protein folding, before turning them loose on real proteins from nature. 'Our main goal was to make sure that anyone could do it, even if they didn't know what biochemistry or protein folding was.' At the moment, the game only uses proteins whose three-dimensional structures have been solved by researchers. But ...'soon we'll be introducing puzzles for which we don't know the solution.'"

This project participated in the CASP8 protein structure prediction contest, which occured between May 5, 2008 and August 1, 2008. Results from the contest were released at the CASP meeting on December 3-7, 2008. To prepare for the contest, the project released some CASP warmup puzzles (Fibronectin, E. coli, Human Fyn 2, Transduction).

In September, 2011, the project "helped discover the structure of an enzyme which could prove a significant step forward in the treatment and cure of retroviral diseases and even AIDS." See an article about the discovery.

To participate in the project, register for an account at the game's website, then download the Windows client and start playing. A Linux client may be available soon. A new version of the client (with many new features) was released on November 25, 2013.

ongoing Windows 32
Help Looking for Mars Polar Lander find the Mars Polar Lander, which crashed in 1999, by studying high-resolution images of the surface of Mars from the area scientists predicted the lander crashed in. If the lander is found, studying the condition of the lander may help determine the cause of its crash.

To participate in the project, follow links to the project's web pages of images, view the images, and add a comment to the project's blog if you find anything interesting in the images.

ongoing N/A
They Work for You
Help They Work for You match video of the British House of Commons from the BBC with text of the speech archived by Hansard. Matching text to video makes the videos searchable and allows British citizens to see how their PMs are voting on legislative bills. Project participants use a Flash application to match written speech with spoken speech in the video, creating timestamps for all of the pieces of the speech. The project stores these timestamps and makes them available to users of the website.

To participate in the project, click the "Give me a random speech that needs timestamping" link on the project website. On the next web page view the video and click the "Now" button when you hear the piece of text that is displayed below the video. Participants can register if they want to be included in the websites statistics rankings, but they can also participate without registering.

ongoing;
22,126 speeches timestamped
N/A
reCAPTCHA
Help reCAPTCHA match non-machine-readable words from the Internet Archive's project to scan public domain books and make electronic versions of them available on the Internet. reCAPTCHA is technically a website security tool rather than a distributed human project, but the Internet Archive benefits when website users authenticate themselves using the tool. A reCAPTCHA shows an image of two words bisected by a line. One of the words is a control word and the other is a word from the Internet Archive project which needs to be interpreted. Computers could possibly scan and interpret all of the control words, but since each Internet Archive word is new, computers can't memorize the interpreted text. The interpreted words are reassembled into finished texts by the Internet Archives.

From an August, 2008, news article: "In the first full year of reCAPTCHA's operations, 1.2 billion reCAPTCHA puzzles have been solved and more than 440 million words deciphered. This is the equivalent of manually transcribing more than 17,600 books. Four million words are now being transcribed per day."

"It would take more than 1,500 people working 40 hours a week at a rate of 60 words a minute to match the weekly output of the CAPTCHA project. Amazingly, the reCAPTCHA team has managed to leverage unused human "cycles" for the common good."

To participate in the project, incorporate the reCAPTCHA web service into your website or use this reCAPTCHA. You can also use a reCAPTCHA on the project's Learn More web page.

ongoing N/A
Project Squirrel
Help Project Squirrel better understand the ecology of squirrels in the United States. "By contributing your observations of squirrels from home, the office, school, a park, or anywhere, you are helping us better understand the ecology of our neighborhoods. Contribute data as often as you like, from anywhere you are."

To participate in the project, follow the instructions on the Participate page.

ongoing N/A
Help Galaxy Zoo Mergers "understand the cosmic collisions that lead to galaxy mergers." Participants will help model a different galaxy each day by viewing a simulation of a merger and comparing it with real astronomical images to determine the best merger simulation.

The project's first paper, Galaxy Zoo: Bars in Disk Galaxies, a study of whether bars kill spiral galaxies, was accepted by the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society on November 11, 2010.

To participate in the project, study the How to Take Part page at the project website, then view images and simulations via the project website and classify the simulations.

Join the Galaxy Zoo discussion forum.

ongoing N/A
Moon Zoo
Help Moon Zoo create "detailed crater counts for as much of the Moon's surface as possible." This project is a Zooniverse project. Project participants view detailed images from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and look for craters with boulders around their rims (boulders indicate that a crater impact was deep enough to excavate beneat the lunar soil) and identify the location and size of each relevant crater in the images. These counts allow scientists to determine how old each section of the moon's surface is. See more information about the project.

Watch project participants' "walks on the moon" in real time with Moon Zoo Live.

See the latest discoveries and project news in the Galaxy Zoo blog and twitter feed.

To participate in the project, study the How to Take Part page at the project website, then view images of the moon's surface and mark craters in the images.

Join the Moon Zoo discussion forum.

ongoing N/A
Help the NASA Be A Martian project create more detailed maps of Mars, and count and classify craters on Mars, from high-resolution images returned from Mars orbiters. Watch some videos to learn about why the project is mapping Mars and how to help.

To participate in the project, click one of the links on the Start Mapping page to Map Mars or Count Craters, then follow the instructions on the next page. You can create a free account on the site if you'd like to track your contributions: you may also participate anonymously.

ongoing N/A
HiWish
Help the HiWish project decide which places on Mars the HiRISE imaging experiment on the Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter should photograph next.

To participate in the project, create an account on the project website, browse the images that HiRISE has already captured, then suggest new locations.

ongoing N/A
Solar Stormwatch
Help Solar Stormwatch "spot explosions on the Sun and track them across space to Earth. Your work will give astronauts an early warning if dangerous solar radiation is headed their way. And you could make a new scientific discovery." Participants view real-time images from the STEREO spacecraft to identify solar storms heading toward Earth and help create more accurate space weather forecasts. See the project's latest updates in its blog.

The project released an animation "showing the activity of the solar wind throughout the first three years of the STEREO mission." The activity was determined by data analysis from the project's volunteers.

To participate in the project, create an account on the project website and follow the instructions for participating.

Join the Solar Stormwatch discussion forum.

ongoing N/A
Citizen Sky
Help Citizen Sky study the behavior of epsilon Aurigae, "a mysterious, bright, eclipsing binary variable star" which astronomers have studies since 1821 and which has not displayed predictable behavior. This star has an eclipse every 27.1 years and the eclipse lasts over 600 days. The most recent eclipse began in August, 2009. This project began in June, 2009, but still needs the help of citizen scientists to observe epsilon Aurigae, send their observations to the project, and then to see their results, analyze them, and even publish them in a scientific journal. See more information about the project and the project's blog.

To participate in the project you do not need to have any astronomy experience and you do not need any equipment other than your eyes and a star finder chart which is available from the project website. Participants can learn from the project website how to participate in the project.

Join the project's discussion forum.

ongoing N/A
Firefly Watch
Help Firefly Watch determine whether fireflies are disappearing from North America. The Boston Museum of Science and researchers from Tufts University and Fitchburg State College are analyzing the observations of citizen scientists in North America to learn more about the "geographic distribution of fireflies and their activity during the summer season" and to study environmental factors affecting firefly habitats, such as human-made light and pesticides in lawns. Learn more about the project.

Watch the project's progress on its online map.

To participate in the project you do not need to have any specific scientific training. Learn more about getting involved.

Join the project's discussion forum.

ongoing N/A
GLOBE at Night
Help GLOBE at Night determine how much of the night sky people around the world can see and how much of it is blocked by light pollution. "GLOBE at Night is an annual 2-week campaign in March. People all over the world record the brightness of their night sky by matching its appearance toward the constellation Orion with star maps of progressively fainter stars. They submit their measurements on-line and a few weeks later, organizers release a map of light-pollution levels worldwide. Over the last four GLOBE at Night campaigns [2006-2009], volunteers from over 100 nations have contributed 35,000 measurements." Learn more about the project.

The 2010 campaign began on March 3 and ended on March 16. Participants in 86 countries contributed over 17,800 measurements. See the measurement results. "The dots (or points) ... represent the contributed measurements of night sky brightness: the lighter colored the dot, the brighter the sky and the darker the dot, the darker the sky."

In the 2011 campaign, nearly all of the 14,249 measurements were taken by 48 of the 115 registered countries. See general analysis and overall numbers of this campaign.

In 2012 there are 4 campaigns: January 14-23, February 12-21, March 13-22, April 11-20.

To participate in the project, follow the instructions on the project website.

Subscribe to the project's mailing list to receive updates and results from the project.

ongoing (at specific times of the year) N/A
DarwinTunes
Help DarwinTunes create music through evolution. The project, developed at Imperial College London as a collaboration between Dr. Bob MacCallum, a bioinformaticist in the Laboratory of Immunogenomics at Imperial College London and Armand Leroi, Professor of Evolutionary Developmental Biology at Imperial College London, generates 4-measure pieces of "music," then invites participants to listen to the pieces and rate them on how much the participants like them, then new pieces based on the most-liked pieces of the previous generation. The project is experimenting with two types of music: one is free-form and the other includes prerecorded drum beats. The "beats" version was generated from the free-form version at the free-form version's generation 530.

To participate in the project, follow the instructions on the project's participate page. Registration is optional.

Join the project's discussion forum.

ongoing N/A

Help Google Image Labeler "label images and help improve the quality of Google's image search results." This project is similar to The ESP Game. The project presents a Java applet game to a pair of volunteers. The volunteers are shown a series of images and must type the same one-word description of an image within a time limit. The more images the pair tags, and the faster they type the same description, the more points they score. Each volunteer's points accumulate. The project associates a set of one-word descriptions for each of the images it indexes.

To participate in the project, sign up for a user account or play as a guest, then click the "Start labeling" button. Your browser should load a Java applet in a new window and provide further instructions for playing the game.

ongoing N/A

Play the EVOKE social networking game "to come up with creative solutions to our most urgent social problems." The game is open to participants all over the world, ages 13 and older. During an active season of the game, players play the game for 10 weeks (they can join and play at any time during the season). Players who complete 10 game challenges successfully can claim "Certified EVOKE Social Innovator" honors. The project was developed by the World Bank Institute. See more information about the project.

Season 1 began on March 3, 2010 and ended on May 12, 2010. Over 18,500 players or "agents" from over 150 countries completed more than 30,000 missions and quests.

Season 2 is being designed as of May 7, 2010.

To participate in the project, follow the directions on the project's How to Play page.

ongoing N/A

Help YourMorals understand the way humans' "moral minds" work. The project enables participants to learn about their "own morality, ethics, and/or values" while contributing to scientific research. The project is run by a group of professors and graduate students at the University of Virginia, the University of California (Irvine), and the University of Southern California.

To participate in the project, create an account on the project website, then click the "Explore Your Morals" button.

ongoing N/A
Field Expedition: Mongolia
Help Field Expedition: Mongolia "conduct a noninvasive survey in the region of the lost tomb of ruler Genghis Khan" by "tagging clues and artifacts on satellite images of the area." This project is sponsored by National Geographic. The project ends on July 29, 2010. See more information about the project and more information about the project's science.

To participate in the project, register for an account, then log in and view satellite images, placing markers for roads, rivers, modern structures and other objects on the image. You will mark objects on a series of test images to learn what to look for in actual images. Note: you may need to scroll the image up, down, left and right with your mouse inside the image viewer to see all of the image.

ongoing;
111,478 images/tiles processed as of July 13, 2010
N/A
Play a game to help Phylo, "A Human Computing Framework for Comparative Genomics," identify Multiple Sequence Alignments, sequences of proteins, DNA or RNA which are similar among various species. Understanding these alignments can help biologists trace the source of certain genetic diseases. The project is testing alignments from UCSC Genome Browser, which were created by computers using heuristic algorithms, and is applying human matching techniques through an online game to find more optimized alignments. The project is testing alignments related to human DNA, specifically to sequences suspected to be linked genetic disorders such as breast cancer and epilepsy. See more information about the project/game.

To participate in the project, follow the links on the Play page to play a game. You may also play the game in French . You may play anonymously or you may register for an account so you can track your scores. In a series of timed puzzles, rearrange sequences of colored blocks to find the best match between the sequences. The project's Tutorial explains the game very simply and quickly and allows you to practice before playing the actual game.

ongoing N/A
The Space Game
Play The Space Game to help improve methods for designing interplanetary trajectories. The game is a crowdsourcing experiment run by the Advanced Concepts Team of the European Space Agency "to improve the methods for designing interplanetary trajectories. We do not claim that computers are not able or are particularly bad at solving such problems. Rather, we think that 'watching' humans design complex interplanetary trajectories can be of help to improve the intelligence of computer algorithms." See more information in the project's wiki.

To participate in the project, read the instructions for How to Play, then register for an account if you wish to, and Play the game.

Join the project's discussion forum.

ongoing N/A
Planet Hunters
Help Planet Hunters look for evidence of extrasolar planets (planets orbiting other stars) in public data from the Kepler space telescope. Volunteers study graphs of individual stars' brightness to look for patterns indicating whether a planet crossed in front of the star and temporarily made the star appear less bright. This experimental project will verify whether software algorithms which study the data are accurate or whether humans can detect patterns in the data that algorithms can't. It will also help scientists learn more about the different kinds of brightness patterns observed by Kepler.

The project completed its 8 millionth classification on January 20, 2012. It also completed 1,084,760 classifications in 48 hours during a special BBC Stargazing Live event in the week of January 16, 2012.

The project has discovered a new planet, named "Planet Hunters 2b," and 31 new planet candidates as of January 7, 2013.

To participate in the project, create an account on the project website and follow the instructions for participating. Note that the project doesn't work with Internet Explorer yet: that problem should be fixed early in 2011.

Join the Planet Hunters discussion forum.

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Old Weather
Help Old Weather create electronic versions of handwritten logs from 280 Royal Naval vessels during World War I. "Whether in battle, in port or on patrol, the ship's crew recorded information about the weather. That information is critical for climate scientists trying to improve their computer models. As well as rescuing those weather observations, we're also asking you to record the personal and political events aboard the ship. It's great fun and highly addictive: you have been warned!"

As of August 23, 2011, the project has completed transcribing all of the log pages for 150 ships, over 89,000 pages of weather data. The project owners have created an overlay for Google Earth showing the routes (and the transcribed logs) of each of the 150 ships.

As of October, 2012, the project is transcribing weather observations from ship logs of Arctic sea voyages back to 1850. Analyzing these weather data may give new insights into weather and climate.

To participate in the project, create an account on the project website and follow the instructions for participating.

Join the Old Weather discussion forum.

ongoing N/A
ClimateWatch
Help ClimateWatch, a project by the EarthWatch Institute, track seasonal changes in plant and animal life cycles in the Southern Hemisphere. Project participants observe particular types of plants and animals in their area and report their observations to the project. The project builds a larger picture of plant and animal activities from all of the observations. See more information about the project.

To participate in the project, create an account on the project website, select one or more species to observe, and record your observations on the project website.

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Health Tracking Network
Help Health Tracking Network prevent influenza, the common cold, and stomach flu by tracking the spread of these diseases and discovering factors which contribute to the diseases. In this project, run by Interdisciplinary Scientific Research (ISR), a scientific research and consulting firm, participants spend two to three minutes per week answering questions about illness symptoms (and optionally tracking their own health and fitness in separate tracking tools). Their anonymous illness information is gathered to build a larger picture of the spread of these common diseases about which little is known. By participating in the project, participants can earn money for their favorite charities. See more information about the project and the project's FAQ. See the project's latest results.

To participate in the project, register on the project's Join page and follow the instructions.

ongoing; 105 total members as of May 14, 2011 N/A
Help the Earth Albedo project measure Earth's albedo or reflecting power each year on the Summer solstice. The project does not have a website. Project details are listed in a TalkingScience blog posting and are listed below (any sentences in quotes below are quoted directly from the blog posting to preserve the information here in case the blog posting ever becomes unavailable. Thank you to Lisa Gardiner for her original information in the blog posting). Dr. Kathleen Gorsky began the project with her high school students at Wilbrahim and Monson Academy near Springfield, MA, in 2008. Each year the students collect images of a piece of white paper placed on the ground in direct sunlight between 5 PM and 8 PM in the photographer's local time zone on June 21. They compare the white paper in each image to its surrounding ground surface and create scientific data that they use to measure Earth's albedo, "the proportion of solar energy that bounces back out to space when it hit's Earth's surface." "Understanding albedo of the planet overall, and how albedo changes over time, tells us how much solar energy is being held by the planet, which is important for understanding climate." "Averaged out over the whole planet, earth’s albedo is currently about 0.31 according to NASA and other scientific estimates. That means that about a third of the sunlight that gets to earth is reflected out to space." "The first year that Kathleen and her students did this project they had only about 50 photos, yet they were able to calculate an albedo of 0.33 for the planet using that data--not too far off."

This year (2011), Kathleen and her students will collect images from participants and "analyze the data, comparing the response of the white card to the response of the ground surface in each photograph using ImageJ software and will depict the data points on a map. They will be posting the results this fall on a new project website and Kathleen will be presenting about the project to teachers at the National Science Teachers Association meeting in Hartford, CT in the fall."

Important: the project only needs images taken between 5 PM and 8 PM in the user's local time zone on June 21. Please do not send images from other times and/or dates.

To participate, do the following:

  1. Add a reminder in your calendar for June 21 of each year, between 5 PM and 8 PM, to participate in this project.
  2. Put a white card (an index card or a business card works well) or a sheet of white paper on any ground surface under direct sunlight, with the white side facing up.
  3. Take a digital photo of the white paper and its surrounding surface. You don't need to hold the camera in any particular position. Just hold the camera, look down at the paper, and take the picture. Any camera will do: a cell phone or standard digital camera will work. Any resolution is fine.
  4. Email the photo to albedo.project@gmail.com. Include your location (either your city, state or province, and country, or your latitude and longitude) in the email.
ongoing none
Ancient Lives
Help Ancient Lives translate text on papyrus sheets discovered in the 1,000-year-old town Oxyrhynchus in Egypt. This project is a Zooniverse project. "Ancient Lives is a collaboration between a diverse collection of Oxford Papyrologists and Researchers, The Imaging Papyri Project, The Oxyrhynchus Papyri Project, the Egypt Exploration Society and [several] institutions. The papyri belong to the Egypt Exploration Society and their texts will eventually be published and numbered in the Society's Greco-Roman Memoirs series in the volumes entitled The Oxyrhynchus Papyri. See more information about the project.

To participate in the project, study the project's interactive tutorials for transcribing and measuring images of papyrus, then transcribe text from new images. You may participate anonymously or you may create an account if you wish to track your statistics.

Join a discussion forum about the project.

ongoing N/A
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Help SETILive search "for interesting signals coming from the Kepler Field." The project is searching for evidence of extra-terrestrial radio signals from data from the field of stars being surveyed by the Kepler spacecraft. The data are provided by the SETI Institute's Allen Telescope Array. SETILive is a Zooniverse project. See more information about the project.

To participate in the project, study the project's tutorial for identifying and classifying candidate radio signals in images of radio data, then classify signals in images from live telescope array data. You may participate anonymously or you may create an account if you wish to track your statistics.

Join a discussion forum about the project.

ongoing N/A
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data.rescue@home
Help data.rescue@home digitize historical weather data from all over the world. Data from the project will be made available to the public with no restrictions.

"Two projects are currently online: German radiosonde data from the Second World War and meteorological station data from Tulagi (Solomon Islands) for the first half of the 20th century. The old data are expected to be very useful for different international research and reanalysis projects (e.g. ERA-CLIM, the Twentieth Century Reanalysis, new surface temperature datasets), and the prolongation of the currently available observational series into the past is of crucial importance for our understanding of the climate system."

To participate in the project, create an account on the project website and follow the instructions for participating.

ongoing N/A
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Whale FM
Help Whale FM group similar-sounding whale calls. Categorizing these calls helps marine scientists learn what whales are saying. Whale FM is a Zooniverse project. See more information about the project.

To participate in the project, study the project's tutorial for listening to a whale call and finding the best match for it from a group of sounds. You may participate anonymously or you may create an account if you wish to track your statistics.

ongoing N/A
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Your Paintings Tagger
Help Your Paintings Tagger tag and categorize over 200,000 publicly-held paintings in the United Kingdom. This project supports the Public Catalog Foundation (PCF), a project in the UK to catalog every collection of oil paintings in public ownership in the country. "The PCF is photographing the nation's oil painting collection and making it accessible through a series of printed catalogues and the Your Paintings website." See more information about the PCF. Participants in Your Paintings Tagger view an image of a painting and write "tags," or labels, of objects in the painting, identify people, places and/or events in the painting, and classify the style of the painting.

As of March 30, 2012, over 83% of all public paintings have been photographed and 6,143 paintings have been tagged and classified.

To participate in the project, click the "Start Tagging" button on the project's main page. You can click the "Try it out" button to try classifying five paintings (your classifications for these paintings won't be saved) or you can register for a free account and start classifying actual paintings.

6,419 taggers have tagged 6,143 paintings with 1.9 million tags as of March 30, 2012 N/A
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EterRNA
Help EteRNA learn more about how life works at a cellular level. Participants play a game in which they design synthetic RNA (Ribonucleic Acid) molecules, tiny molecules that exist in every cell. If a participant wins the weekly competition, his or her RNA molecule is synthesized and scored by how well it folds into a three-dimensional structure. See more information about the project and the project's wiki. The project was developed by Carnegie Mellon University and Stanford University.

To participate in the project, register for an account on the project website and select one of the project's puzzles, challenges or labs. You may also click the "Play Tutorial" button on the project's main page to try the game's tutorial without registering for an account.

Join a discussion forum about the project.

ongoing N/A
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Help FreeCell Project solve 99.9% of the 1,000,000 freecell games available in Windows XP. This project is based on The Internet FreeCell Project, one of the earliest Internet crowdsourcing projects, which in 1994 and 1995 solved all but one of the 32,000 possible games in Microsoft FreeCell. Read more about that project in an article. This project asks participants to find solutions for the 1,000,000 possible games in 100 10,000-game "seasons." When 10 or fewer games in one season are unsolved, the project moves on to the next season. See more information about this project.

To participate in the project, choose the Classic FreeCell Project, a web-based FreeCell game player, or the Facebook FreeCell Project, a Facebook app which plays the FreeCell game and which has more features. You can participate anonymously or create an account to track your contribution statistics.

season #361 is 10% complete as of April 27, 2012 N/A
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What's the Score at the Bodleian?
Help What's the Score at the Bodleian? describe over 4,000 images of piano music scores from the Bodleian library. No catalogue exists for these scores from the mid-Victorian time period. "The music was mostly produced for domestic entertainment, and many of these scores have illustrated or decorative covers and advertisements." Participants do not need to know how to read music to make a useful contribution to the project. The project owners hope that participants with musical ability will record performances of some of the songs and will provide links to the recordings. This project is a Zooniverse project. See more information about the project and the project's blog.

To participate in the project, create a Galaxy Zoo account and click the project's Start describing button to view and describe piano scores.

ongoing N/A
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The Milky Way Project
Help The Milky Way Project catalog and classify material--"bubbles"--in images from the Spitzer Space Telescope. Understanding this material helps scientists "learn how stars form and understand how our galaxy changes and evolves with time." This project is a Zooniverse project. See more information about this project and the project's blog.

To participate in the project, create a Galaxy Zoo account and click the project's Bubbles button.

Join a discussion forum about the project.

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Biogames
Help Biogames make medical diagnoses for real patients from medical images via a "game" that you play in your web browser or on your cell phone or tablet computer. The project uses crowdsourcing to view medical images, such as images of cells, to determine whether particular cells are healthy or diseased. The project's first goal is to prove that untrained "crowds" can make diagnoses nearly as accurate as trained professionals. See more information about the project.

Biogames' first project diagnoses patients for malaria, a disease which infects about 500 million people and kills about 3 million people worldwide every year. Many of these people live in poorer countries and can't afford proper medical care to diagnose and treat the disease.

To participate in the project, view the project's instructions, then register for an account and log in to play the game.

ongoing N/A
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Seafloor Explorer
Help Seafloor Explorer "identify species and ground cover in images of the seafloor, and help create a library of seafloor life in the habitats along the [North American] northeast continental shelf." The project analyzes images from the HabCam optical imaging system from the Woods Hole Oceanopgraphics Institution. This project is a Zooniverse project. See more information about this project and the project's blog.

To participate in the project, create a Galaxy Zoo account and click the project's button.

Join a discussion forum about the project.

ongoing:
458,465 images classified as of Spetember 21, 2012
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Bat Detective
Help Bat Detective classify bat calls from audio recordings collected all over the world. "By sorting the sounds in the recordings into insect and bat calls, bat detectives will help biologists learn how to reliably distinguish bat 'tweets' to develop new automatic identification tools." This project is a scistarter project. See more information about this project and the project's blog.

To participate in the project, register for an account, then click the project's join in link.

Join a discussion forum about the project.

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Cyclone Center
Help Cyclone Center classify "over 30 years of tropical cyclone satellite imagery" for use by climate scientists. "The global intensity record contains uncertainties caused by differences in analysis procedures around the world and through time. Scientists are enlisting the public because patterns in storm imagery are best recognized by the human eye." This project is a Zooniverse project. See more information about this project and the project's blog.

To participate in the project, create a Galaxy Zoo account (optional) and click the project's Begin classifying button.

Join a discussion forum about the project.

ongoing N/A
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ClicktoCure
Help ClicktoCure discover new and more effective ways to detect and cure cancer. In this project, managed by Cancer Research UK, participants view images from a collection of over two million images of actual cells and identify which cells in the images are cancer cells. This work is very difficult for computers to do but is much easier for humans to do. By analyzing images of patients' cells before and after cancer treatments, scientists can determine which treatments are more effective for which patients. See more information about this project. This project is a Zooniverse project.

To participate in the project, click the project's Join the fight button, create a Zooniverse account (optional) if you want to track your contributions to the project, then click the "Let's go!" button to begin the tutorial and learn how to identify cancer cells in the project's images.

ongoing;
106,723 images analyzed as of October 30, 2012
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The Andromeda Project
Help The Andromeda Project discover and classify star clusters within the Andromeda Galaxy, a spiral galaxy about 2.5 million light years away from Earth. Studying star clusters helps scientists learn how stars--and spiral galaxies--form and evolve. The project is using images from the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury (PHAT) survey. These images are being collected from the Hubble Space Telescope over four years. See more information about this project and the project's blog. This project is a Zooniverse project.

The project completed Round 1 of processing before the end of 2012. It will not collect results from Round 1 images processed after 2012, but participants may still classify them. More data for the project will be available some time in 2013.

To participate in the project, click the project's Start Classifying button or create a Zooniverse account (optional) if you want to track your contributions to the project.

Join a discussion forum about the project.

Round 1 completed December, 2012; Round 2 will begin sometime in 2013 N/A
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Snapshot Serengeti
Help Snapshot Serengeti find and identify animals in images from more than 200 motion-activated cameras in Serengeti National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Tanzania. This project will provide the data needed by scientists at the University of Minnesota to track and study these animals. The project is analyzing over 4.5 million images taken by the cameras since 2010. See more information about this project and the project's blog. This project is a Zooniverse project.

The project completed processing seasons 1 through 3 by January 4, 2013 and began processing season 4 on January 11, 2013. The project had such an overwhelming number of participants that the work for images from the first three seasons--which was expected to be completed in two months--was completed in one week.

To participate in the project, click the project's Start Classifying button or create a Zooniverse account (optional) if you want to track your contributions to the project.

Join a discussion forum about the project.

ongoing N/A
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Planet Four
Help Planet Four "identify and measure features on the surface of Mars ... the likes of which don’t exist on Earth. All of the images on this site depict the southern polar region, an area of Mars that we know little about, and the majority of which have never been seen by human eyes before!" Participants are finding and marking "‘fans’ and ‘blotches’ on the Martian surface. Scientists believe that these features indicate wind direction and speed. By tracking ‘fans’ and ‘blotches’ over the course of several Martian years to see how they form, evolve, disappear and reform, we can help planetary scientists better understand Mars’ climate. We also hope to find out if these features form in the same spot each year and also learn how they change." The project's images "come from the HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) camera on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. HiRISE can image Mars with resolutions of 0.3 m/pixel (about 1 foot), resolving objects below a meter across."

The project classified its 4 millionth image on October 29, 2013. See more information about this project and the project's blog. This project is a Zooniverse project.

To participate in the project, click the project's Classify button or create a Zooniverse account (optional) if you want to track your contributions to the project.

Join a discussion forum about the project.

76,956 participants have classified over 4 million images as of November 26, 2013 N/A
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Notes from Nature
Help Notes from Nature transcribe records of historical biodiversity data from museum collections. "Scientists and researchers can use the data to conduct new research and make better conservation decisions. The digitized data you are creating will help advance research related to species extinction, ecosystem changes, environmental health and even human health." See the collections on which the project is currently working. See more information about this project and the project's blog. This project is a Zooniverse project.

To participate in the project, click the project's Start Transcribing button or create a Zooniverse account (optional) if you want to track your contributions to the project.

Join a discussion forum about the project.

22.3% (55,988 transcriptions) as of April 29, 2013 N/A
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Lab in the Wild
Help Lab in the Wild test people's cultural preferences and perception. The project runs several experiments (listed on the project's main page), to help the project owners learn about the similarities and differences between people from around the world when interacting with technology and learn how people of different cultures perceive information. The project is run by several computer scientists at Harvard. See more information about this project and the project's blog.

To participate in the project, click a link for one of the project's experiments. Participation in the experiments is anonymous.

ongoing N/A
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Test My Brain
Help Test My Brain learn more about how the mind and brain work (and learn more about yourself) by participating in the project's various experiments. The project is run by the Harvard University Vision Sciences Laboratory. See more information about this project, the project's FAQ, and the project's blog. See publications based on results of the project.

To participate in the project, click the "GO!" button next to one of the experiments on the project's main page. Participation is anonymous.

Join a discussion forum about the project.

ongoing N/A
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Help Space Warps find rare gravitational lenses galaxies so large they bend light around them, allowing us to see galaxies behind them. See more information about the project's science and the project's FAQ. This project is a Zooniverse project.

To participate in the project, click the project's Classify button or create a Zooniverse account (optional) if you want to track your contributions to the project.

Join a discussion forum about the project.

ongoing N/A
NEW!
Play a free mobile game to help Play to Cure: Genes in Space analyze real genetic data to find cancer cures. This is the first mobile game to contribute useful work to a scientific research project. The project is owned and managed by Cancer Research UK. See more information about the game and a short video about the game. The game is available for iOS and Android.

To participate in the project, download the game application to your mobile device by following the instructions on the project website. You can play the game and participate in the project anonymously or you can create a free account to track your progress.

ongoing N/A
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Help Tomnod solve real-world problems by exploring satellite images of Earth. Currently the project is looking for evidence of possible crash sites of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which disappeared on March 8, 2014. It is searching satellite images of the area where the Gulf of Thailand meets the South China Sea. The project is owned by DigitalGlobe.

To participate in the project, follow the instructions on the project website. You can participate anonymously or register your email address to track your contribution statistics.

ongoing N/A

See more Distributed Human projects at Science for Citizens and Scientific American Citizen Science. If you have an Android phone you can donate its computing power while it is charging via HTC's Power to Give project.

The following icons may appear in the Supported Platforms section of the table:
dialup-friendlythis project is good for users with dialup Internet access
paid projectthis is a for-pay project
Windows 32this project runs on the Windows 32-bit platform
Linuxthis project runs on the Linux platform
MacOSthis project runs on the Mac OS platform
Solaristhis project runs on the Solaris platform

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