Malaysia Airlines: crowd source search launched

2014-03-11 11:06
Denver - A US-based satellite company has invited internet users to pore over images of the Gulf of Thailand in an effort to help find any signs of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.  

Time reports that while a small army of boats and aircraft from 10 different countries are combing the gulf for any sign of the Boeing 777 jetliner, DigitalGlobe invited volunteers to aid in the search mission by signing up at the group’s Tomnod platformwhere they can scan satellite imagery of the area.  

Apparently five of its orbiting satellites had been set exclusively on the Gulf of Thailand where the plane is believed to have crashed and 3 200 square km of imagery has been published on line. They have promised to update their cache of images as more become available.  

Users can zoom in on each satellite image and drop a pin if they see anything that they believe could be wreckage. An algorithm will find where there is overlap in the tags - spots where multiple people have found something of note.

Expert analysts will then examine the tags to identify the top ten or so most notable areas and share the information with authorities.

The Sydney Morning Heraldreports that about 25 000 people signed up for Tomnod crowdsourcing were notified of the new search via email on Tuesday morning.

DigitalGlobe launched a similar campaign in the wake of deadly Typhoon Haiyan, which swept across the Philippines last November, during which time thousands of volunteers flagged over 60 000 objects.

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