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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Inky black seas and a few white caps ... and maybe a ship. Over the last few days, I've participated in the crowdsourcing effort to find Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 via Tomnod, the imagery platform acquired by DigitalGlobe last year. So far, I've reviewed 500+ map tiles delivered by Tomnod.

The task, for more than 25,000 people at last count, was to review imagery provided by DigitalGlobe and "tag" things they believed to be part of the plane wreckage, rafts, oil slick or something else that would be tagged as "other." If an item was tagged, I assume a professional would review the tag and give it credence or not. And, the Tomnod interface would show you if others agree with your tag.

The one thing I found difficult was that the reference map in the legend did not provide the geographic position of the imagery under review, making it difficult to put the map tiles into a geographic reference. I believe the imagery exposed to me were in the Gulf of Thailand where some of the original searches have been conducted.

Via Twitter, I've seen lots of people tagging white caps. Having performed image interpretation and processing for a good part of my career, I hope I can tell a white cap from a piece of wreckage which would have a distinct "man-made" signature. However, with crowdsourcing you might get lots folks "hoping" they see something remotely useful. Regardless, because of the size of the area, which seems to be expanding every day, you need anyone with a good pair of eyes to scour the 100's of square miles that are now in play for where the Boeing 777 might have gone down.

The image below shows what I believe to be ship at sea. It is approximately 40 meters in length (a scale bar was provided by Tomnod) and could be just a fishing trawler or a ship looking for wreckage. But due to the resolution of the imagery it makes it somewhat difficult for absolute confirmation. It certainly looks man-made and perhaps you can discern a bow wake. But there's no trailing wake which makes me suspicious.

Regardless, I commend DigitalGlobe for reaching out to the global community in the search effort.

by Joe Francica on 03/13 at 02:14 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

New Resource of Preservation of Digital Geospatial Data Resources

The Geospatial Content subgroup of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance Content Working Group recognized the need for introductory guidance on the challenges facing institutions regarding the collection, stewardship and preservation of digital geospatial data resources announced the release of the “Geospatial Data Stewardship: Key Online Resources” report (pdf).

LSU Addressing the Campus Building Address Issue

Louisiana State University is currently conducting a university-wide project that will result in buildings around campus receiving numerical addresses. To date buildings have names and numbers only, making them hard to find via GPS. The change will help local public safety and emergency responders as well as pizza delivery folks better support campus needs.

Math and Geo

A joint endeavor by GeoPhilly and the MathCounts Group featured 4 ten minute talks about how folks are using Math to solve geospatial problems and other crossovers. Sounds really interesting.


Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/13 at 03:35 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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