Crowdsourcing used to search satellite images for missing Malaysia Airlines plane

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airplane, crowdsourcing, malaysian airlines, jet, plane, mh370

As the mystery of what happened to missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 deepens, people from all around the world are eager to help. Crowdsourcing website Tomnod.com, run by DigitalGlobe Inc., is asking its users to comb through thousands of miles of satellite imagery in search of clues that could be of use to search and rescue teams.

Shay Har-Noy, director of product development at DigitalGlobe, said they have millions of people using their website to look for anything out of place. More than two million people have donated their time thus far, flagging 645,000 features on images that look unusual.

According to a report from Bloomberg, the site operates five high-resolution satellites orbiting the globe which can define images as small as a briefcase. Tomnod now has imagery online that covers 24,000 square kilometers (9,300 square miles) and at times, traffic surges have caused the site to go offline.

John McGraw, founder of John McGraw Aerospace Consulting, pointed out that having that many people involved in the search is a force multiplier. He added that none of the government agencies would be able to bring that many people to bear.

Flight 370 disappeared from radar on the morning of March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The aircraft had 239 people aboard and despite the efforts of a dozen countries, its whereabouts still remain a mystery.

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