Geospatial technology has made its way into the aviation industry, helping researchers and scientists track the current status of the flight. These GIS-based tools enable people to locate whichever flight they want in simple clicks. You can get a clear picture of the flights departing from the target airport to your desired destinations. One such area where satellite-based imagery has proven useful is investigating Flight MH370.
The flight departed from Kuala Lumpur on 8th March 2014 and was supposed to land at the Beijing airport. It had 227 passengers with 12 crew members, but the flight never landed. It was reported missing. The Prime Minister of Malaysia said that the aircraft was somewhere in the Indian ocean, although no traces of the flight have been found to date. The sudden disappearance of Flight MH370 wreaked havoc in the aviation industry, as scientists did everything they could to find the flight, but couldn’t trace it.
Crowdsourced Investigation: How it Helped in Tracking the Missing Flight?
One thing that has helped in tracing this missing flight is crowdsourced investigation. The biggest satellite imagery company asked the general public to locate clues about the missing flight to speed up the investigation. Soon, the DigitalGlobe — a popular satellite imagery software solution that supplies tons of pictures to Google maps, started sharing a large number of pictures collected from the Gulf of Thailand to simplify investigation. The purpose of making the software available to the public was to include general people in the investigation. They believe that internet users might find clues that can lead to the disappeared flight or reveal more information.
DigitalGlobe’s New Approach in Searching the Flight MH370
The flight went missing somewhere in the middle of the Indian ocean, leaving a vast area for the investigators to search. No matter how many people were employed, scanning such a huge place was challenging and overwhelming for the aviation team. Besides, there is always a chance the areas that were missed during the investigation could offer important clues about the missing flight. That’s why DigitalGlobe launched an initiative that made the investigation a lot easier and more effective.
By allowing the general public to collect and share photos of the sea and anything that might help trace the missing components of the flight, this satellite imagery company has done its part in making the investigation super effective. They have opened a web portal for hundreds of thousands of people. Using this software, you can give your contribution to the search for the missing MH370 flight. This is also called amateur search, which is conducted on Tomnod — a crowdsourcing tool bought by DigitalGlobe in 2013. It serves as a GIS tool that gives people access to a massive selection of pictures collected from the suspected areas during the investigation. People can scan these pictures thoroughly to identify objects that might be life rafts, oil slicks, and other components of the missing aircraft. DigitalGlobe put its satellite near the rumored crash site immediately after the announcement of the crash.