Seeing a Better World™

The Hunt for Flight 370 Continues as the Crowd Sifts Through Vast Amounts of Data

By DigitalGlobe | Published:

DigitalGlobe is truly humbled and amazed by the global response to our call to action just 48 hours ago. Following the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, we activated our Tomnod crowdsourcing platform to help locate the jet by asking volunteers to scan through imagery captured by our satellites.

More than 2 million people have tagged some 645,000 features so far, making this the largest Tomnod campaign in history by orders of magnitude. We have continually tasked our satellites to image the ever-widening search area and now have more than 24,000 square kilometers of imagery available for the crowd to comb through. The sheer volume of traffic was a challenge at times for our servers to handle, but we are managing the spikes in activity much better now.

We will continue to collect imagery of the search area and adapt our collection plans as new information becomes available. We appreciate the work that so many of you have done to search for clues and spread the word, and we sincerely hope the efforts will lead to a breakthrough.

Keep up the great work!

Screenshot from the missing  Malaysian aircraft crowdsourcing campaign

36 Responses to The Hunt for Flight 370 Continues as the Crowd Sifts Through Vast Amounts of Data

Vande says: December 22, 2014 at 4:43 am

Hi Rene,Sorry to hear your picture wasn’t inucedld. Unfortunately we only have room for 25 pictures in our gallery, and it’s possible that your shot maybe was a little fuzzy, so it didn’t make the cut. Mariela the photo gallery is designed to give a picture of what the entire event was like. We do feature video of our two winners only (you can find them in the video gallery).Looking forward to seeing you both at the next round!Brandi.

Karma says: September 24, 2014 at 9:04 pm

Hey there! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeuard against hackers?
I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any recommendations?

Julie says: July 25, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Helpful information. Fortunate me I discovered your website unintentionally, and I am surprised why this
coincidence did not came about earlier! I bookmarked it.

John says: April 10, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Do you have satellite imagery of the current ping location right after the plane disappeared where the wreckage would be fresh?

Aussie peter says: March 28, 2014 at 9:08 am

Thank you for putting up images in the Southern Indian Ocean, 2000km off Perth. Heavy cloud cover on most that I have looked at, might be worth saving everyone’s time and dropping images with 90%+ cloud, simple algorithm, while giving an option for those that would like too search these to stop be able to see.

Appreciate Tomnod helping … Very much

Dan says: March 25, 2014 at 5:32 pm

I had to email them to get that link. If somebody can see where they are posting updated data, please share or maybe somebody else email them and they may respond with updated link. I just used Contact Us thing from Digital Globe site.

Dan says: March 25, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Wow, maybe down to a few active viewers judging by this blog and Facebook. I totally agree there should be more interaction, especially when someone has a solid tag to share. I’m hoping they learn from this and keep users more informed in coming days or the next campaign. Maybe they will verify floating objects and then go back and post March 9th (or whatever is close) images so we can help narrow down location of crash.

So disappointing they posted tags from first part of search and so many people tagged obvious boats/vessels. Check this out – they should share this information every couple days!!! (sorry – may have to copy/paste link)

Lori says: March 25, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Melissa, those both are very interesting. I tagged them too. I wonder if they check all of the tags or just the ones that several people agree on? I wish there was a discussion forum with the site so that you could discuss the “objects” with other people as you find them.

An Aussie Peter says: March 23, 2014 at 2:11 am

Hope they find evidence soon for the relatives, lots of people would like to help.

Should be about 500TB of info. for 500PB, and this is only a rough figure. But hopefully they clicked a few images, at the right time, at the right location. fingers crossed

An Aussie Peter says: March 23, 2014 at 1:54 am

I think it is unlikely that Tomnod have pictures of these areas, unless specifically aiming the satellite. To cover the earths surface to 1m2 resolution would take about 500PB of information. Too much info. to transmit each day, this is why there are only selected areas offered to search in Malayasian. But hopefully in the next days the satellite images will uploaded which focus on fresh images around -45.957120, 84.628681 (Lat Lon), few hundred km radius. The effort seems focused here as of this time. (2,500km South west Perth, on satellite info corridor, limit of flight-time, 0.5 hr after last ping, up drift of images from sightings from Chinese and Tomnod (which the Australians should have pointed out)

Angela says: March 22, 2014 at 10:41 pm

There are no images of Antarctica on the Tomnod website which is currently being used to search for the missing plane. I assume that your daughter is therefore looking at images on Google Earth or Google Maps. These images are mostly many years old and a lot date from as far back as 1999. I strongly doubt that you will any images from the past month on either of those sites. There are many scientific bases at Antarctica and they have runways and aircraft. Have a look at the bottom of the image for the date and also the coordinates and then do some research on which base is in that area.

Gerald in California says: March 22, 2014 at 2:19 pm

I looked at 3000+ Tomnod images but gave up when I realized that the images were all from areas that were more-or-less ruled out by the time I (& many others) looked at them. Looking at 12 day old images of areas already thoroughly searched does not seem a good use of time. I was both encouraged and disappointed by the fact that DG had provided Australia with the images which may have been key to the search; dismayed because these same images were never offered to the Tomnod crowd. I like volunteering but would like to feel that my effort is not entirely wasted.

Anonymous says: March 22, 2014 at 10:38 am

I hope someone reads this. I am trying to contact someone who can help guide me in the right direction. Here it is in a nutshell:

Last night my daugher called late and left message to call her immediately..I did…and she (being very savy on all these devices that are out there now) told me on her (whatever it is) she has a satelite image of a piece of debris that is just off the shore of the most-southern Indian Ocean and onto the “land-part” of Antartica. She came over and showed me so I could see for myself. I was stunned and actually felt nauseated…as I looked at this “object” that the satelite image caught and I kept telling her to make it look more clear as it seemed to zoom downward toward the object. When it brought it in to focus, more clearly, that is, I starred and suddenly found myself looking at a huge piece of a fuselage (cabin) part of an airliner. Yes, airliner. I am an 8-year Navy Veteran and 20 years a travel agent and I know what the fuselage (cabin) looks like very well from doing seating assignments. In starring at it, I said to her if she knows what we are seeing here, and she said, well (not using punctuation anymore on this) it looks like it has windows….I said, yes, exactly…it is a dome-shaped fuselage with approximately 11 to 13 small rectangular windows, we brought up the photo of the Boeing 777 and figured it out that it is more like the back-part of the fuselage with a view of 11 to 13 seats on either side, having the picture being captured looking at it with a raterh top-view. A little later she suddenly said, well, what the heck is this now…I looked at it as we moved in different light settings in the house, and it has a “path” BEHIND it…a path like if you dragged a tobaggin…the path is exactly as wide as the fuselage and ends right there where the object came to stop. I could go on and on, it was absolutely chilling. NOW HERE IS WHERE WE NEED HELP….she had to work today, so relying on me to get somewhere with this….someone suggested (not a professional) a neighbor, that we get a hold of Google as to help in this satelite image. I CALLED AND CALLED GOOGLE AND THEY ARE ALL GONE FOR WEEKEND…CANNOT GET A HOLD OF ANYONE. Any intelligent and informative ideas as to WHO AND HOW to get things moving on this commercial aircraft fuselage (part) that someone of importance…for lack of a better word…can see this? It is absolutely eerie and sickening seeing this, especially the rows of windows…almost to the point of frightening…please help..


Peter Hayes says: March 22, 2014 at 7:31 am

Happy to search, have been searching, but it seems there is little point searching in areas that low probability of success. Given facts now, seems to be 2000 km of Perth in Western Australia, please concentrate on this area, or give the users some choice. As Michael says, if images available a few hours after “crash” please make those available.

Michel vh says: March 21, 2014 at 10:19 am

One of the most frustrating things about searching with tomnod is that you cannot navigate yourself. I understand as to why this is done, but it makes searching quite problematic. Currently, it is know in which area the plance “could” possibly be, but since there is no option to choose the sattelite imagery date NOR location where to start looking, you might be clicking through images of the ocean near india while it would be more helpfull to look in the area near australia to look for more debrie.. even more so i you could, for example, make sure you are looking for images from around the 9th or the 10th of march. Chances for seeing things floating round that time are much better then around the 15th when stuff may have a already sank.

val zenus says: March 21, 2014 at 10:11 am

I have been searching via tomnod for the last ten days for the missing airliner. I have come across a map that appears to have many abberations in regard to waves,sealife, etc. It appears to be in the Indian ocean Gyre. How can I report this directly?

R.Esults says: March 20, 2014 at 2:55 pm

will there be an updated kmz?
this one was nice:
…cloudfront net/results/malaysiaairsar2014_2014-03-17-18-50.kmz

MarkS says: March 20, 2014 at 2:59 am

I wish we could turn off the sound so I could hear my own tunes.. and for a contrast enhancing control… (and zoom in) :)
Keep up the good work.

Ron says: March 19, 2014 at 8:47 am

I was looking at a map of 370 flight and noticed that the plane changed course just after dropping off radar, given the points of last contact and the direction the plane was headed, and the amount of fuel left on the plane, It has the appearance of an aircraft traveling in triangle which leaves me to believe that flight 370 may appear to be lost, but infact could have landed right where it started.. HMMMM

Mo says: March 19, 2014 at 3:31 am

Found a Raft and tagged/saved grid map number. The raft looked exactly like the icon photo. As evening grew near, lights appeared on the raft.
Who knows whose raft it may be?

matt says: March 18, 2014 at 11:14 pm

Are there any images from the time when the 370 was in flight?

Starting from Malaysia..

If we find it in flight then it may be easier to track it…to the final destination.

Fred Sayin says: March 18, 2014 at 8:36 pm

For me could it be at the borderline of the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean? It’s at night people on ships could mistake the item for a meteorite especially if the plane was on fire.

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