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This paper was due mid-September 2009. I decided not to write the paper because I believe it did not conform to two of the requirements for a Galileo submission: 1) the ideas I would have put forth were not original with me, but were derived from a group of people working on this topic; and 2) the ideas were developed on government time, not my own time. Caveat emptor.

Title Page

My Crowd is Smarter Than Your Expert:
Crowd Source Intelligence
(Version 0.1 - 15 August 2009)
D. Calvin Andrus, Ph.D.
Central Intelligence Agency
Prepared for submission to the 2009 DNI Galileo Award Competition
Many family members, friends, and colleagues have contributed to the thinking in this paper. As I bounced my ideas off these folks, they challenged me, they inspired me, they shared their insights, and pointed me to new references. I am grateful for their kindness and love.
All statements of fact, opinion, or analysis expressed are those of the authors and do not reflect the official positions or views of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) or any other U.S. Government Agency. Nothing in the contents should be construed as asserting or implying U.S. government authentication of information or the DNI’s endorsement of the authors’ views. This material is pending review by the DNI to prevent the disclosure of classified information. For official statements of position, please contact the DNI Office of Public Affairs at
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Crowd Sourcing

National Crowd Source Intelligence Center



  • Libert, Barry and Spector, Jon (2007). We Are Smarter Than Me: How to Unleash the Power of Crowds in Your Business. Philadelphia: Wharton School Publishing.
  • Stephenson, W. David and Eric Bonabeau (2007). “Expecting the Unexpected: The Need for a Networked Terrorism and Disaster Response Strategy.” Homeland Security Affairs III, no. 1 (February).



  • Crowdsourcing: "a distributed problem-solving and production model. Problems are broadcast to an unknown group of solvers in the form of an open call for solutions. Users--also known as the crowd--typically form into online communities, and the crowd submits solutions. The crowd also sorts through the solutions, finding the best ones. These best solutions are then owned by the entity that broadcast the problem in the first place--the crowdsourcer--and the winning individuals in the crowd are sometimes rewarded. In some cases, this labor is well compensated, either monetarily, with prizes, or with recognition. In other cases, the only rewards may be kudos or intellectual satisfaction. Crowdsourcing may produce solutions from amateurs or volunteers working in their spare time, or from experts or small businesses which were unknown to the initiating organization." (

Examples & References

  • America's Most Wanted is a television show produced by 20th Century Fox launched in 1988 that helps law enforcement profile fugitives on national television so viewers can report any information they may have on the fugitives. 1084 criminals have been captured reported by the Wikipedia article but 1085 have been reported by America's Most Wanted's official website which is probably more accurate and up to date. Their are also many local versions of the "Most Wanted" television shows. (Wikipedia Reference / Official Website Reference).
  • Amber Alerts is a child abduction alert bulletin in the United States, Canada, and some as other countries. AMBER stands for "America's Missing: Broadcasting Emergency Response" originally named after a child named Amber Hagerman who was abducted and murdered in Texas. AMBER Alerts are issued through radio stations, television stations, e-mail, electronic traffic-condition signs, and LED/LCD signs of billboard companies. As of August 2002 17 children have successfully been recovered since Amber alert's start in 1996. (Reference).
  • Wikipedia is a web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia that started in 2001. Wikipedia now has 13 million articles, 2.9 million in English, all written by volunteers. Each article can be edited by anyone who can access the Wikipedia website. (Reference).
  • The Unabomber (Theodore John Kaczynski) was a serial killer who sent sixteen bombs to universities and airline killing three people and injuring twenty three between 1978 and 1995. In 1995 the Unabomber claimed he would stop his killings if The Times or The Washington Post published his manifesto. The manifesto was jointly published and released on the internet as well. The Unabomber's family came across some of his other writings in their house which were very similar to his manifesto giving them reason to alert authorities. He was eventually captured on April 3rd, 1996 going off the lead that his family had giving the FBI. (The New York Times Reference / Wikipedia Reference).
  • Goldcorp Mining Company was a Canadian company that was in desperate need of a new gold source for mining. The CEO decided to take a controversial approach to finding new gold sources by making public all their private geological data and offering $575,000 in prize money. The company had 1000 prospectors from fifty different countries working with the data they put out to come up with 110 gold targets. Half of the targets had not been identified by the company previously and eighty percent of the 110 targets yielded substantial amounts of gold which transformed the $100 million company into a $9 billion one. (Reference).
  • Scorpion was a United States submarine that disappeared May 1968. The Navy had a very vague idea of where the submarine may have sunk from its last known location. A naval officer assembled a team of men with different specialties and gave them several scenarios to determine how likely each was. The goal was not to find a specific answer but use a theorem to somewhat average all the guesses in order to determine where the submarine had sank. The sunken vessel was found 220 yards away from the collective guess of where it had sank. (The Wisdom of the Crowds, James Surowiecki; Introduction XX-XXI).
  • Google Maps uses a program called mapmaker to let others edit maps on Google that are otherwise inaccessible to chart due to economic or political reasons. One such example is of Tabriz, Iran. (Reference).