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

DigitalGlobe Launches Crowdsourcing Campaign to Find Missing Malaysia Airlines Jet in Satellite Images

By DigitalGlobe | Published:

UPDATE March 11: We are working to best handle an unprecedented level of web traffic and interest in supporting the search. Please check back soon. We have new imagery collections planned for today and hope to make those images available online for the crowd as soon as possible.

DigitalGlobe today activated its crowdsourcing platform in an effort to locate the Boeing 777 jetliner that mysteriously disappeared on Saturday while in flight from Malaysia to Beijing. If you would like to volunteer your time to support the rescue mission, please visit DigitalGlobe’s Tomnod platform to begin combing through satellite imagery for clues that may help locate the missing aircraft.

DigitalGlobe owns and operates the world’s most advanced constellation of commercial imaging satellites. In response to the aircraft’s disappearance, DigitalGlobe activated FirstLook, a subscription service for emergency management that provides fast, web-based access to pre- and post-event imagery of time-critical world events.

On Sunday, two of the company’s satellites collected imagery of the area where evidence suggested the aircraft may have crashed into the water, where the Gulf of Thailand meets the South China Sea. The spacecraft collected approximately 3,200 square kilometers of imagery that can now be analyzed by the crowd using DigitalGlobe’s Tomnod platform.
Today, the Malaysian government updated the search area to reflect new information, and DigitalGlobe revised its tasking plan to collect imagery further north in the Gulf of Thailand. The new imagery is expected to be collected tomorrow morning around 10 a.m. local time and made available on the Tomnod platform very shortly after it is uploaded to the DigitalGlobe archive.

Tomnod, which was acquired by DigitalGlobe in 2013, has been involved in the response and recovery efforts for numerous natural and man-made disasters. When Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines in November 2013, DigitalGlobe immediately activated a global crowdsourcing campaign. Within about 24 hours, thousands of volunteers tagged more than 60,000 objects of interest, and the results were made available to the public and to FirstLook subscribers within hours.

Base map courtesy of National Geographic

Information Partner Program – Saab

By DigitalGlobe | Published:

How We Work Together 

Saab and DigitalGlobe enable advanced geospatial 3D data with global coverage. For more than 75 years Saab has demonstrated leadership in innovation. From jet fighters to surveillance radar systems, missiles, marine electronics, and traffic and communications systems, Saab is well-recognized for its many technological and scientific breakthroughs. And now, in partnership with DigitalGlobe and through our Information Partner Program, its Vricon system is revolutionizing the delivery of mission-critical, photo-realistic, high resolution geospatial 3D data to customers worldwide.

The Vricon system automatically processes imagery from satellites, UAVs and manned aircraft to build stunning 3D Models without the use of control points or elevation models in the process, which makes the system extremely efficient while utilizing its available computing power. Saab is currently expanding its processing center to serve a growing demand.

“The scalable Vricon technology and the extensive DigitalGlobe imagery archive are an incredible match” says Manne Anliot, Director of Marketing and Sales at Saab Vricon Systems. “Our customers gain access to a 3D globe with a new level of accuracy”.

Saab Vricon leverages DigitalGlobe’s extensive archive to create a unique value proposition for its customers by developing realistic 3D Models.  Use of DigitalGlobe’s archive virtually eliminates the need to collect new imagery, accelerates Saab’s ability to provide customers with 3D Models, and enables them to provide models nearly anywhere on the globe.

Precision and photorealism

The absolute 3D accuracy of the Vricon data ranges from approx. 0.3 m SE90, based on aerial imagery, to 6 m SE90 based on satellite imagery. SE90 stands for Spherical Error 90 %. Together with photorealistic textures it offers a new level of understanding of the terrain.

Saab is currently focusing its efforts on serving the military Geoint/ISR and Targeting domains. Looking ahead, the technology may be applied to energy-producing industries, telecommunications, and other industry verticals. For more information, please visit www.saaabgroup.com/vricon.

Vricon Satellite 3D data for Damascus, Syria


Visit the Saab Vricon booth  at the upcoming GeoInt Symposium conference to learn more. Or stop by the DigitalGlobe booth and listen to Saab Vricon during our  tech talks.