Django-crowdsourcing is a highly configurable survey and report tool for journalists, with a feature set that supports a wide range of useful crowdsourcing projects. It is developed and used at New York Public Radio with support from the Knight Foundation, and released under an MIT license.

The fundamental content unit this app provides is the survey, which consists of a list of questions, some presentational metadata – title and so on – and configuration that determines some aspects of how the survey behaves. The questions may solicit a variety of different types of input: text, numbers, choices from drop-down or radio lists, image uploads, video links, addresses, and more. Survey forms exist in both full page and embeddable versions, for maximum flexibility in presentation.

Users primarily participate by creating submissions which consist of answers to the survey’s questions. Whether these answers are published or not is defined on a per-survey basis. Users may also, depending on how the survey is configured, be able to comment on and/or rate each other’s contributions.

These submissions, if you wish to display them, may be presented in one or more survey reports, which represent different views on the data collected; reports can contain widgets such as pie charts, maps, slideshows, graphs, and more, as well as filterable archives of the results and, if you wish, editorial annotations. If you don’t configure any reports, the application will do its best to generate a reasonable report given the types of questions asked and the survey configuration. Reports, like survey forms, can also be embedded in other pages. Or, if you want to create your own mash-up from survey data, it can be queried by means of a flexible web api.

Django-crowdsourcing is a reusable Django application, designed to be installed easily in any Django site. It is site-aware, and thus works well in multi-site installations. Its surveys are entirely configured within the admin interface that ships with Django.

While the primary focus of development is support for crowdsourcing projects, the survey tool is general purpose and can be used for a variety of applications. If your website runs on Django and you want some slick surveys, crowdsourcing is a good way to go. It’s easy enough to handle simple polls with pie charts, yet it’s powerful enough to handle complicated surveys with rich multimedia responses plotted on a map with custom icons. And it is under active development, so expect more features soon.

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