NYTimes on Gray Search
The list of tech companies turning the expertise and equipment to the search for lost Microsofter James Gray lenthened this week. It now includes folks and resources from Google, Amazon, NASA, many universities, DigitalGlobe and a aerial sensor equipped plane.
“This is the largest strictly civilian, privately sponsored search effort I have ever seen,” said Capt. David Swatland, deputy commander of the Coast Guard sector in San Francisco, who has spent most of his 23-year career in search and rescue.
Amazon posted the imagery from DigitalGlobe to its Mechanical Turk site so that many eyes could look for traces of Gary’s boat, the Tenacious. (I mentioned that recently for its use in feature extraction.) Microsoft is also tapping into satellites (IKONOS?) and using radar imagery along with its Oceanview software (acquired from Vexcel) which apparently can find vessels in radar imagery.
It’s hard to watch all these resources pouring out for Mr. Gray and recently for Mr. Kim (from C|NET, discussed here) knowing that many other lost folks don’t receive such efforts. That said, it’s certainly possible that these new pairings of technologists may well discover new ways of tracking the lost. I wonder for example if this is the first use of Mechanical Turk for search and rescue?