Avoiding the south side and the suburbs: The geography of mobile crowdsourcing markets

Jacob Thebault-Spieker, Loren G Terveen, Brent J Hecht

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

84 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mobile crowdsourcing markets (e.g., Gigwalk and TaskRabbit) offer crowdworkers tasks situated in the physical world (e.g., checking street signs, running household errands). The geographic nature of these tasks distinguishes these markets from online crowdsourcing markets and raises new, fundamental questions. We carried out a controlled study in the Chicago metropolitan area aimed at addressing two key questions: (1) What geographic factors influence whether a crowdworker will be willing to do a task? (2) What geographic factors influence how much compensation a crowdworker will demand in order to do a task? Quantitative modeling shows that travel distance to the location of the task and the socioeconomic status (SES) of the task area are important factors. Qualitative analysis enriches our modeling, with workers mentioning safety and difficulties getting to a location as key considerations. Our results suggest that low-SES areas are currently less able to take advantage of the benefits of mobile crowdsourcing markets. We discuss the implications of our study for these markets, as well as for "sharing economy" phenomena like UberX, which have many properties in common with mobile crowdsourcing markets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCSCW 2015 - Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages265-275
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781450329224
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 28 2015
Event18th ACM International Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2015 - BC, Canada
Duration: Mar 14 2015Mar 18 2015

Publication series

NameCSCW 2015 - Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing

Other

Other18th ACM International Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2015
CountryCanada
CityBC
Period3/14/153/18/15

Keywords

  • Mobile crowdsourcing
  • Volunteered geographic information

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    Thebault-Spieker, J., Terveen, L. G., & Hecht, B. J. (2015). Avoiding the south side and the suburbs: The geography of mobile crowdsourcing markets. In CSCW 2015 - Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (pp. 265-275). (CSCW 2015 - Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing). Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. https://doi.org/10.1145/2675133.2675278