Original Pilot Study (2000-2001)
From November 2000 to September 2001, we ran an experiment that showed that public volunteers (clickworkers), many working for a few minutes here and there and others choosing work work longer, can do some routine science analysis that would normally be done by a scientist or graduate student working for months on end. From November 17, 2000 to January 3, 2002, we had as many as 101,000 clickworkers volunteering 14,000 work hours, 612,832 sessions, and 2,378,820 entries!
One science product that can be produced directly from all your clicks is a map of the geologic ages of different regions of Mars. Since crater bombardment is assumed to be constant, the longer it has been since a region has had water washing over it (or lava, or sand dunes, or a big recent impact, etc.) to resurface it, the more craters it has had time to accumulate. (By the way: Earth and its moon receive the same steady bombardment as Mars, but Earth has very few craters. Think about why that is.)
The significance of this initial experiment is that the collected data has been used to create an age map of different regions of Mars. More importantly, the Clickworker-generated age map agrees closely with what was already known from traditional crater counting and takes significantly less time.