Sunday, 16 March 2014

Hunt for Missing Flight MH370 Turns to Crowd-sourcing for Help

Hunt for Missing Flight MH370 Turns to Crowd-sourcing for Help 


Three days ago Malaysian Flight MH370, flying 239 people from Kuala Lumpur to  Beijing, vanished from all radars and form of communication. In an attempt to increase the hunt, Digital Globe – a satellite imagery company based in the US, has released satellite images from the weekend the plane vanished and is asking the general public to scour the large area for any clues of a wreckage.
“For people who aren’t able to drive a boat through the Pacific Ocean to get to the Malaysian peninsula, or who can’t fly aeroplanes to look there, this is a way that they can contribute and try to help out,” said Digital Globe’s Luke Barrington.
The company is seeking volunteers through Tomnod, a crowd-sourcing platform that had 25 000 users prior to the appeal for people to join the hunt of the missing Boeing 777. 3200 square kilometers of imagery have been released thus far, with more to come soon.
The hunt has already comprised of at least 34 planes and 40 ships from 10 different nations and now through crowd-sourcing, Digital Globe is offering anybody with an internet connection the chance to offer their eyes and assistance.
Users scouring the images drop tags where they feel something of significance is visible by looking for possible clues released in a guideline image of what to look out for. An algorithm then looks for areas where multiple users have tagged and the most frequently tagged areas are directed to experts for further examination.

“We’ll say ‘here are our top ten suspicious or interesting locations’,” Mr Barrington said. “Is it really an aircraft wing that’s been chopped in half or is this some other debris floating on the ocean? We may not be 100 per cent sure, but if this is where I had to go pick a location to go looking for needles in this big haystack, this is where I’d start.”
Tomnod is also known for its efforts in the hunt for the vintage yacht, the Nina, after it vanished on a voyage from New Zealand to Australia with 7 crew members aboard. It also helped map the damage caused by Typhoon Haiyan that struck the Philippines last November.
If you would like to offer your help, head over to Globe Master’s Tomnod page here.

Hunt for Missing Flight Turns to Crowd-sourcing for Help
March 11th, 2014 by
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