Collections > Master's Papers > School of Information and Library Science > Crowdsourcing the Census: Creating a Digital Database of U.S. Census Enumeration District Maps with Volunteer Participation

With the growth of the digital humanities and historical GIS technologies, scholars have begun to build national and urban databases of census and other records in order to trace the changes in boundaries over time and thus simplify the study of historical change. Because a project to digitize U.S. census enumeration district maps would require time, funding, and staff that most institutions do not have, the most sensible way to create such a database is through crowdsourcing. Other crowdsourced projects, both geographical and non-geographical, have succeeded owing to their creative design and competitive focus as well as the usability of the tools they provide to their volunteer users. Upon review of other crowdsourced mapping projects, recommendations are given for the creation of a GIS database for U.S. census enumeration district maps.