Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Search for Missing Plane Turns to Crowdsourcing for Clues
By Parismita Goswami | March 11, 2014 7:20 PM EST
As the mystery of the missing Malaysian Airlines deepens, a Colorado satellite imaging company is offering satellite images that may be useful in searching for the missing plane.
Malaysia Airlines Plane Turns to Crowdsourcing in Search of Clues
DigitalGlobe, which owns and operates private imaging satellites, has joined the crowd in an effort for scanning the areas of Gulf of Thailand through its satellites, where the plane is suspected to have crashed into the water.
The flight with 239 passengers on board lost its communication with the ground, on its way to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur which is untraceable for the third consecutive day.
"DigitalGlobe activates FirstLook that is used during natural disasters and man-made crisis by emergency response agencies, while Tomnod is activated for different and selective purposes," explained Luke Barringto, senior manager of Geospatial Big Data for DigitalGlobe. The images taken from these satellites is positioned around 400 miles above the ground.
In the missing Flight MH370 case, the images are made accessible to the public - which is a concept called crowdsourcing. The aim behind crowdsourcing is to survey the images with the help of many viewers in an attempt to find possible clues.
"We try to use the crowd wisely and not tire them out. The story here is much more about the search than it is about the response. This whole feeling of not knowing, the lack of information or ability to do anything, we have seen time and again, is why people want to get involved," Denverpost quoted Barrington saying.
Through the Tomnod website, people can review the images and help locate something of interest.
Tomnod, within the first hour of its crowdsourcing on Monday, had 60,000 page views and over thousands tags.
3,200 square kilometres of imagery has been made available for people to search online and over the next 24 hours, more images are likely to release.
"For people who aren't able to drive a boat through the Pacific Ocean to get to the Malaysian peninsula, or who cannot fly aeroplanes to look there, this is a way that they can contribute and try to help out," ABC News quoted Barrington.
Users can zoom in for the satellite images and send a message, if they find anything that could be a wreckage. An algorithm will be used to find the overlapped tags, where multiple people have found something noteworthy.
Expert analysis will then identify the most prominent areas and share the useful information with the authorities for further investigation.
"We'll say here are our top ten suspicious or interesting locations. 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 percent 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." he said.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Prince William & Kate Middleton Caught Flirting In A Countryside Dinner Date [PHOTOS]
- Kate Middleton’s Mom Accused Of Being A Social Climber, Prince George Not Seen By Relatives
- Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt’s Top Secret Wedding Tramps Jennifer Aniston’s ‘Friends’ Reunion & Pregnancy Talks [PHOTOS]
- 2014 US Open: Hottest Male Tennis Players To Watch [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- MH370 Update: Australians Unveil New Map To Find The Missing Plane
- Court Grants Indian Man Divorce Over Wife’s Insatiable Sex Demands
- Ebola Virus 'Rapidly Mutating' as Research Finds Almost 400 Mutations; International Aid Moves at a Snail's Pace
- ISIS Threat: Australia Terror Alert Level at 'Medium' as Saudi King Warns of Attacks in Europe in a Month
- Jennifer Lawrence Nude Photos Leak Raises Doubts on Apple's iCloud; How to Secure Apple ID
- Pricey iPhone 6 on Release Date Likely but with 3X Retina Resolution & Mobile Payment Service – Reports
- 5.5-Inch iPhone 6 is iPhone Air on Sept 19 Release Date: 5 Things to Consider Before Buying
- Google Nexus 8 Confirmed as HTC T1 aka Volantis/Flounder with Freshly-Leaked Specs & Features – Reports
- PlayStation 4 Killing Xbox One Costing Microsoft Millions But It's Fine
- Europe, US Next on ISIS’ Hit List, Says Saudi King; Seized ISIS Laptop Reveals Terrifying Bio-Warfare Plans
- iPhone 6 On Release Date To Feature Qualcomm MDM9625M LTE, 1GB RAM, Mobile Payment Deal With AMEX, 1334x750 Display
- Nexus 6 Release Date Update: Moto X+1 Look Leaked, Nexus X or Shamu Moved to Demo Phase