2014 - 2020 is a website developed by Andrew Nash that identifies four types of crowdsourcing in planning and presents examples of using crowdsourcing in transport. The four types of crowdsourcing are:

  • Reporting;
  • Data Collection and Analysis;
  • Collaboration; and
  • Acting.

Crowdsourcing was a new idea in planning when the website was developed in 2015. Now it is an accepted public involvement technique. Therefore I have taken the website off line. This page summarizes some of the main elements.


Reporting consists of identifying problems to the responsible agency or organisation. It’s best used for problems with a clear solution (e.g., reporting a pothole) or for providing simple status information (e.g., bus #10 is late, train is crowded). See Collaboration for problems that need to be discussed.
Mainstream social media (e.g., Twitter) can be used for reporting problems, but reporting applications are better because they allow agencies to efficiently collect and process reporting data using back-end systems (i.e., acknowledge receipt, notify responsible department, monitor solution process, etc.).
Most reporting applications have mobile apps and provide maps to help users specify problem locations. Some reporting apps provide sensor data directly to the agency. More on reporting applications and their features:


Data Collection and Analysis

The widespread availability of computers and inexpensive sensors makes it possible for residents to collect and analyse transport data in ways that could hardly be imagined just a few years ago. Residents can use purpose-built or smartphone sensors to monitor air quality, count traffic or track their trips. They can combine this data with open data sets to create new applications or analyses.


Collaboration is an iterative process where people work together to solve a problem or develop an idea. Collaboration is more complex than reporting because solutions are not clear – it’s not simply fixing something that is broken. Civic technology applications have been developed for three main aspects of collaboration:

  • Process Apps – are designed to help users and agencies come to a decision on complicated issues. They include tools such as voting mechanisms, reputation systems, and links to educational information designed to help facilitate the decision-making process;
  • Education Apps – provide information to participants thereby helping improve the quality of ideas and suggestions. There are three main types of education apps: games, references and interactive applications.
  • Engagement Apps – encourage people to participate and keep them involved. Increasing engagement improves public processes because more people means better ideas and more support for the results.

Take Action

Social media, civic technology and information technologies are providing great opportunities for individuals and groups to do real things that help improve their community. Here are some of the main ways people are acting to support or provide improved transport services:

  • DYI Urbanism – do it yourself projects to demonstrate an idea;
  • Peer-to-peer transport – sharing vehicles or transport services;
  • Crowdfunding;
  • Awareness raising and advocacy – using information technology to organise demonstrations etc.;
  • Peer-to-peer recommendations – for example information on public transport delays;
  • Get moving – apps that encourage people to go out for exercise.

The website was online from 2014 until 2021. The site’s structure and screen capture photos of selected pages (2021) are presented below.

Selected examples of using crowdsourcing in transport:


Crowdsourcing techniques for transport planning and operations – Andrew Nash; 7th Transport Research Arena TRA 2018, Vienna, April 2018.8th Transport Research Arena; Helsinki, April 2020.

Apps for Public Involvement: Introduction and Recommendations – Nash, Andrew; To App or not to App: Are Mobile Applications right for Your Agency?, TRB Annual Meeting 2017.

How Crowdsourcing Can Help Public Transport Innovate Successfully in an Era of Rapid Change – Nash, Andrew; TRB Annual Meeting 2017.

Civic Technology and Mind Sets in Big Data – Nash, Andrew; Mind Sets Project Conference; Barcelona, 29 October 2015.

The End of Transport Behaviour Modelling – Nash, Andrew: COST Action TU1305: Social Networks and Travel Behaviour; Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, 15 October 2015.

Crowd-sourced Planning – Using interactive city tools to improve public involvement – Nash, Andrew; Webinar: CIVITAS; March 27, 2014.