What Happens When 28,000 Volunteers Are Set Loose in the Virtual Serengeti

What’s a scientist to do with 1.2 million photos, most of grass but some containing valuable data about endangered animals? Turn the whole thing over to the public, if you’re the creators of Snapshot Serengeti. This project caught the attention of tens of thousands of volunteers. Now their work has produced a massive dataset that’s already helping scientists in a range of fields.

Most online citizen science involves a degree of tedium—counting craters, tracing kelp mats. But Snapshot

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