Satellite firm turns to crowdsourcing in search for missing Malaysia plane
Sonja Puzic, CTVNews.ca
Published Tuesday, March 11, 2014 10:00AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, March 11, 2014 11:15AM EDT
A U.S. satellite company is looking for volunteers to help search for any sign of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet by scouring satellite images online.
DigitalGlobe has activated a crowdsourcing platform called Tomnod, where satellite images of the South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand taken since Sunday have been uploaded for a closer look. If you see something suspicious or resembling airplane debris, you’re encouraged to tag it on the site.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing vanished somewhere between Malaysia and Vietnam on Saturday local time. The disappearance of the Boeing 777 has stumped investigators, who have yet to find debris in area waters -- or any evidence of a crash.
DigitalGlobe said its satellites have already captured about 3,200 square kilometres of imagery over the South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, where the plane may have gone down.
When the Malaysian government expanded the search area, the company captured more images from northern parts of the Gulf of Thailand. Those are expected to be available on Tomnod Tuesday.
The Boeing 777 disappeared without a distress signal, setting off concerns that an act of terrorism, or an attempted hijacking, brought the plane down. But investigators have said that they are looking at all possibilities, including a catastrophic engine failure and pilot error.
Two Canadians were among the 239 people on board.
DigitalGlobe says the Tomnod crowdsourcing platform has also been activated during natural disasters, including last November’s Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The company says thousands of volunteers tagged more than 60,000 “objects of interest” spotted in satellite images after the typhoon barrelled through the region.