CSI: Crowd Sourced Indexing is a program created by Banai Lynn Feldstein in response to the lack of indexing programs in genealogy.
While some of the big companies like FamilySearch and Ancestry have custom programs to direct their indexing, smaller organizations, usually comprised entirely of volunteers, have no access to such types of programs. For them, each indexing project requires a considerable effort to organize the project, coordinate volunteers, send out the files, keep track of who has what images, what has been done, how much is left to do, compile all of the spreadsheets, and repeat the process until the project is completed.
CSI is easier for indexers. Instead of juggling multiple windows, to view an image and a spreadsheet program at the same time, everything is presented in one browser window. Volunteers can log in and receive the next image whenever they feel like indexing. There is no downloading of the images, sending in their transcriptions, and waiting for another batch. When they have indexed a page, they can decide if they want to continue to do more immediately, or continue another time.
CSI's bigger purpose is to reduce much of the work for the administrator. The admin sets up general information, teaches CSI where the files are, sets up the fields to be indexed, and the project is ready to go. At that point, they can invite their society or group members to index. The project administrator has access on the back-end to create the project and set it up for indexing, monitor the progress, view the transcriptions, deal with problems, and download the transcriptions in multiple formats at any time. This removes a considerable amount of work that is usually completed by just one person running the project. This is especially useful for small organizations where some members may be willing to index but none are willing to run the project. CSI makes running the project simpler.
Future enhancements include group functionality, additional project managers to assist the project administrator, gamification for users, and more.
With special thanks to my collaborator, Daniel Horowitz, without whom there wouldn't be a CSI. Along with his inspiration, he has provided exceptional quality assurance (QA) and user experience (UX) advice, which helped to guide CSI to where it is today.
You may contact Banai via the Suggestion Box.