The cost to design and implement a custom crowdsourcing social media application ranges from $50,000 to $250,000.

National Center for Rural Road Safety factsheet highlighted experience with crowdsourced data solutions.

Nationwide; United States

Summary Information

Crowdsourcing supported by social media applications has emerged as a low-cost approach to generate data by enlisting or encouraging citizens to participate in data collection and verification. One of the key benefits is that it can provide information for rural locations that agencies cannot monitor regularly, due to reduced funding or low numbers of staff.


Many crowdsourcing smartphone applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Maps, Waze, OneBusAhead, and Moovit are free, but agencies may consider creating their own. Creating a custom crowdsourcing tool costs roughly $50,000 to $250,000. This can include the purchase and installation of system hardware, software, and other required equipment. Estimates for operations and maintenance (O&M) costs range from $5,000 to $50,000 per year. The FHWA Pooled Fund North/West Passage project, for example, found that operations and maintenance costs for its citizen reporting programs ranged from $5,000 to $13,000 per year [CY2016 dollars].

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Rural Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Toolkit: Crowdsourced Data

Published By: National Center for Rural Road Safety

Source Date: 01/01/2018


System Cost

SmartPhone App for Crowdsourcing Data: $50K to $250K


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Cost ID: 2020-00447