The Internet Is Searching For Missing Flight 370 Using Satellite Imagery

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 10:22 AM

(NASA)

A satellite imaging company called Digital Globe has launched a campaign to use the manpower of the internet to find the missing Malaysian Air flight 370. 

Digital Globe is reporting that over half a million people had volunteered to help pore over high-resolution satellite images of the ocean in hopes of finding evidence of the Boeing 777 that disappeared on March 8th. 

The response has been so overwhelming that it appears Digital Globe is having trouble keeping up. The website for the project is currently experiencing "technical difficulties," but promises to be back online as soon as possible.

I'm of two minds on this effort. On one hand, it scans to me as a pretty cynical opportunity by Digital Globe to show off its technology, and get a little free publicity on the pretense of helping out. If you look at this Daily Beast article about the project, it feels like a press release, focusing on all the incredible and useful applications of this technology. On the other hand, the risk of the kind of catastrophic misidentification that hovers over these kinds of internet investigations is pretty minimal in this case. Who knows? Maybe the internet will find it! I'll certainly try it when the service comes back up.

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Comments [1]

Lawrence from us

Tried it, very boring.

Someone at the company should write an easy algorithm, and just isolate those pieces that is not ocean blue. put it on screen and let the crowd do the down select. It also don't show where the picture is relative to anywhere, it don't show how many are there left to do, how many have ppl accomplished.... no feedback on the sense of accomplishment.

Mar. 13 2014 03:44 AM

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TLDR is a short podcast and blog about the internet by Meredith Haggerty. You can subscribe to the TLDR podcast here. You can follow our blog here. I tweet @manymanywords and @tldr.

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