How you can help search for missing plane

Colorado company says 600, 000 people have used website to help look for Malaysia Airlines jetliner

A Colorado-based company says about 600,000 people have scanned its satellite images for clues to the fate of a Malaysia Airlines jetliner that disappeared Saturday.

DigitalGlobe is calling it a crowdsourcing campaign to help search crews. The company said Tuesday it plans daily updates of the images on the search website.

Users can tag images on the website if they see wreckage, life rafts, oil slicks or other evidence.

Shay Har-Noy, DigitalGlobe's senior director for geospatial big data, says the photos had 10 million page views by Tuesday afternoon.

Har-Noy calls the response overwhelming and says the company's servers are having trouble keeping up with the demand.

He says U.S. government agencies have access to its images as well.

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  1. Peter posted on 03/12/2014 10:26 AM
    I tried this and searched several areas. (tiles)
    It's easy to do, - no sign up or anything. - just start searching for wreckage.

    The resolution is very good to spot small objects such as a raft. But it's hard to visualize the size of the object on the screen you are looking for.

    A spec of dust on the screen can throw you off, - you have to clean your monitor screen.
    An improvement would be to overlay a test object like a raft to show how big it would display on the monitor. There is a scale shown however that shows 100 foot distance. That helps.

    As the area viewed is high resolution, it spans only a tiny area. There would probably be millions and millions of tiles to view.

    Someone may get lucky, and spot some wreckage.

  2. Frankie posted on 03/12/2014 10:35 AM
    You'd think with computer programming they would write a program to scan and identify objects that appear out of place/unusual a lot faster than amateurs like us.
  3. Peter posted on 03/12/2014 10:46 AM
    Yes Frankie, I thought of that too.
    A computer could easily whip through the ocean scans looking for simple high contrast differences, maybe thousands of times faster that a human.
    Maybe it's being developed as we speak.
    1. Frankie posted on 03/12/2014 11:31 AM
      @Peter I'm more likely to think DigitalGlobe put this out for free publicity. Satellites exist that can pick a face in a crowd so I don't buy their human search nonsense.

      A good publicity stunt however. Too bad it's for such a tragedy.
    2. Peter posted on 03/12/2014 12:16 PM
      @Frankie - I agree, free publicity.
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