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Two million internet users join search for missing Malaysian Air flight 370

Digital Globe reports a rush
Thu Mar 13 2014, 16:26

TWO MILLION PEOPLE have joined an effort to search for signs of the missing Malaysian Air flight 370.

The people have put their time and resources into the Digital Globe satellite scanning system and have already picked out 645,000 features and tagged them.

The firm behind the crowdsourcing project said that it is impressed by the response and glad to see that people have embraced its system. It opened its service to the public on Monday and while it initially struggled under heavy traffic, it has since gotten on top of it.

"We are working to best handle an unprecedented level of web traffic and interest in supporting the search. Please check back soon," it said on Tuesday. "We have new imagery collections planned for today and hope to make those images available online for the crowd as soon as possible."

Now that things have settled down the firm has taken in two million people who are covering an area 24,000 kilometres square.

"More than [two] 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," it said in a blog post.

"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."

This is the largest use of Digital Globe's Tomnod system ever seen. When we visited the system we found that it was still experiencing congestion. We were told to return later, so we refreshed and it worked. We were able to view satellite images, but we spotted nothing. µ


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