Can a crowdsourced effort find Malaysian Airlines plane MH370? Can you help?
Malaysian Airlines plane MH370 is missing, vanished into thin air with 239 passengers on board. Combined search and rescue efforts of teams from a number of countries China, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, United States and more have returned empty so far. The plight of families with no news of their kin is hardly enviable with no answers in sight.
DigitalGlobe, a company based out of Colorado that owns a network of sophisticated satellite imagery is putting concerned global citizens to work – a crowdsourced effort to scour satellite images before and after the plane went missing.
DigitalGlobe has activated its crowdsourcing platform, Tomnod in an effort to locate the Boeing 777 jetliner that mysteriously disappeared on Saturday while in flight from Malaysia to Beijing. Tomnod uses thousands of volunteers to use satellite images to solve real world problems.
DigitalGlobe’s satellite photos taken 400 miles above the Gulf of Thailand can capture a detail as small as a home plate. The challenge is finding the manpower to scour 1,235 square miles of such images on one of DigitalGlobe’s websites, Tomnod.com
There is such large area from where the plane could have gone missing that it would be impossible to find relevant imagery without the help of thousands of people. And thousands have chipped in to help. To help find the missing plane, the Tomnod platform is asking volunteers to tag images that seem to contain airplane wreckage, floating life-raft, oil slicks in the water or anything suspicious.
This is not the first time that DigitalGlobe has contributed to a global crowdsourcing effort for humanitarian search and emergency response. The company has helped in similar operations during Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines last year.
Gone are the days when citizens helplessly watched coverage of natural or civic calamities – we can all help now. Thanks to our hyper connected world, crowd-input and sophisticated platforms, everybody can make a difference — and join the search.