DARPA Network Challenge. • 2009

In brief:

Demonstrated the power of social media and social networks by mobilizing society to find 10 red balloons.

Links:

Our original site: http://balloon.mit.edu

DARPA site: http://networkchallenge.darpa.mil/

Description of project:

During a period ranging from six to nine hours on December 5, 2009, DARPA place 10 large, moored, red weather balloons at hidden locations around the country, and offered a $40,000 prize to anyone, anywhere in the world using any means available to be the first to report the location of all ten. The DARPA Network Challenge was a contest designed to better understand the role that crowdsourcing and social media play in timely communication, and urgent mobilzation and wide-area team building in an adversarial context. In two days our team built a platform based on a networked incentive scheme that was able to effectively search the entire geographic area of the United States, and we found all 10 balloons in 8 hours and fifty-two minutes.

Further reading: