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Help Find Steve Fossett

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the spare-wetware-cycles dept.

United States 439

An anonymous reader invites us to join in the hunt for the missing Steve Fossett using Amazon's Mechanical Turk. DigitalGlobe, one of Google's imaging partners, has acquired new high-resolution satellite imagery of the area where Fossett disappeared on Monday. The public can now go through this imagery and quickly flag any images that might contain Fossett's plane. Flagged images will receive further review by search and rescue experts.

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I, for one... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20523249)

... welcome our new missing adventurer overlord ... oh, wait.

Re:I, for one... (4, Funny)

Rorzabal (1138403) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523259)

This is better than "Where's Waldo?"!

Steve welcomes Amazon Overlords (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523391)

This just in: Ground searchers in the Nevada desert just found this note:

I, for one, welcome our new Amazon/Digiglobe/Internet Overlords.

-Steve

Obligatory question in capitalist America (-1, Troll)

saibot834 (1061528) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523255)

If I find him...

How much do I get? :)

Going by MTurk's past history.. (1)

Channard (693317) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523315)

... five cents. Though you do get twice that if you happen to find him and Madeline McCann the same day.

Re:Obligatory question in capitalist America (5, Insightful)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523325)

For helping a fellow human being? A warm fuzzy feeling inside. And, if you believe in it, karma/brownie points with your deity of choice.

For helping a millionaire in his hour of need? Who knows, maybe 15 minutes of fame, a few opportunities that you would otherwise not had and maybe a modest reward.

For most, doing the former is enough.

Re:Obligatory question in capitalist America (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20523689)

I wonder what warm and fuzzy feeling Amazon.com gets from demanding personal information before you can participate. Call me cold and heartless, but no thanks.

Re:Obligatory question in capitalist America (3, Funny)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523913)

But can I get some /. karma if I find him?

One half (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20523377)

1/2

Obligatory question in Mortuary America (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20523547)

"How much do I get? :)"

Depends on what body part you find.

Re:Obligatory question in capitalist America (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523591)

If your PS3 is the one that finds this guy you'll get a discount on your PS4.

Re:Obligatory question in capitalist America (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20523781)

See an earlier application of similar technology here:
"Inside the High Tech Hunt for a Missing Silicon Valley Legend"
http://www.wired.com/techbiz/people/magazine/15-08 /ff_jimgray [wired.com]

what's he wearing? (2, Informative)

datapharmer (1099455) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523273)

What's he wearing red and white stripes? Seriously though, this is a pretty cool tool even if it is a bit ridiculous considering all the missing persons there are out there who get no attention...

Re:what's he wearing? (2, Insightful)

BungaDunga (801391) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523337)

Well, most missing persons aren't going to be visible from the air, are they?

Re:what's he wearing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20523385)

Well, most missing persons aren't going to be visible from the air, are they?

That would depend on the size of the person. Oh, is it "too soon" for jokes?

Re:what's he wearing? (5, Funny)

sentientbeing (688713) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523533)

Yo mammas so fat when she got lost and they found her on google earth.

Not all missing persons can be seen from space (5, Interesting)

searchr (564109) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523343)

To be fair, most missing persons are hiding in bus terminals and seedy motels. Even if it sadly takes someone of celebrity, even someone whose personal hobby is to put themselves into ridiculous danger, to develop a new form of distributed wetware computing, it's still for the better.

Maybe if someone had thought of this earlier, that unlucky family in Oregon wouldn't have been stranded in their car for a week. Or maybe, now there's a new option for the next time that does happen.

Forget SETI-at-Home. I'd much rather play "FindTheLostPeople-at-Home".

Oblig Futurama: (was Re:Not all missing persons c) (1)

siglercm (6059) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523757)

(In sincerity, my warmest thoughts and most heartfelt prayers are given for Mr. Fossett and his family. Steve is a true explorer-hero to many people. I, for one, admire him.)

> To be fair, most missing persons are hiding in bus terminals and seedy motels.

Oblig. Futurama -->

"Bigfoot populations require vast amounts of land to remain elusive in. They typically dwell just behind rocks but are also sometimes playful... bounding into thick fogs and out-of-focus areas."

(God bless Steve and his family, and return him home safely :)

what's he wearing?-A beacon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20523351)

It's not absurd for that reason, but because finding him is literally like finding a needle in a very large haystack. Just ask anyone in search and rescue. Even in the middle of the ocean with a bright orange life raft it's hard to find someone.

Re:what's he wearing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20523379)

The gag obviously went over some peoples heads.

I couldn't find Steve (5, Funny)

10e6Steve (545457) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523283)

but I found Waldo!

thanks, but no (-1, Troll)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523289)

Never forget 1-click.

Re:thanks, but no (1)

CharonX (522492) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523495)

Er, what?
"Amazon did something horribly crappy, let's not try to find & rescue someone using their site"??? Sorry, but I think that is petty.

Google Earth (2, Interesting)

Rebelgecko (893016) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523293)

You can also look at the imagery in Google Earth

Viewing in Google Earth:
If you wish to view images in additional detail, you can pull them up in Google Earth. To do that you must: Download and Install Google Earth. Open the following KML file: http://s3.amazonaws.com/fossett/geo-eye.kml [amazonaws.com] Cut and paste the co-ordinates found next to the image tile below into the "Fly To" box in the top left corner of Google Earth. For the best experience, you will likely want to turn OFF terrain by unchecking the "Terrain" box under Layers in the lower left corner of Google Earth

Re:Google Earth (3, Funny)

solevita (967690) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523319)

into the "Fly To" box in the top left corner of Google Earth.
It sure is tempting to burn some karma now; could even mention the new flightsim in Google Earth...

Re:Google Earth (1, Redundant)

John3 (85454) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523409)

Google Earth images appear to be seriously outdated. I did a search for my business and the image shows our building as it was in 2005 prior to a second floor addition. Did Google Earth update the images for the region where Steve's plane may have crashed? If not, there isn't much point to viewing that area using Google Earth.

Re:Google Earth (1)

JackHoffman (1033824) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523451)

KML files can be used to overlay external data. There are KML files for "live" cloud cover images, for example.

Re:Google Earth (3, Informative)

G Fab (1142219) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523453)

Yes, Google Earth has updated images of the region. You can tell because they are obviously satellite photos and not overflight. Notice that everything is shot from straight up instead of the normal angle and also note the lack of color.

Read the article, and you'd see that they explain how authorities helped facilitate new images.

Re:Google Earth (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523833)

I tried looking to see if the "Series of Tubes" Senator's house in Girdwood, AK had a small shadow or a long one, because it was jacked up two floors in 2000 [adn.com] as a favor from a local corrupt oil company. Unfortunately this [google.com] is the best you can get from Google Maps- a fuzzy satellite view.

The map is different in Google Earth- there, you can see that each one of those short stubby little roads ends in a nice stately circle.

A lot of effort being put into finding this guy... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20523295)

we normally reserve this type of effort for cute, young, white women

Sorry (0)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523329)

Spending all my spare time at Galaxy Zoo. Now if he were visible from the SDSS [wikipedia.org] , maybe.

In related news... strange lack of "First Posts" (-1, Offtopic)

Goldenhawk (242867) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523339)

In related news, no Slashdotters posted a "First Post" response for a matter of several hours. This never-before seen phenomenon was tentatively attributed to the entire Slashdot community immediately joining the virtual search.

*grin*

Does this really improve the odds of finding him? (3, Interesting)

jesco (598308) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523341)

I suppose there are already trained people looking at the images. From the Police, Fire-Department, or whatever organization handles these kinds of emergencies in Nevada. I stress the word trained because the satellite data definetely needs experienced eyes to look out for the right stuff.

The article starts by explaining what to look for on these images. This is good, but to substitute for experience in looking at such images.

Re:Does this really improve the odds of finding hi (2)

tjr (908724) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523359)

Well, then, any novices who join in here may gain some experience!

Re:Does this really improve the odds of finding hi (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523803)

You need some feedback to learn what you detected right and wrong.

Re:Does this really improve the odds of finding hi (2, Interesting)

Skim123 (3322) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523381)

One day we'll be telling our children, "When I was your age, we actually had people comparing satellite imagery to find lost people!"

Seriously, though, can't computers do this sort of thing more efficiently? I'm no expert on the state of image recognition research, but you think it would be good enough that a computer could pick out potential "hits" for further review by trained professionals, perhaps by searching for what looks like man-made objects in remote areas or comparing old imagery with the current, updated samples.

Were's the road? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20523457)

"Seriously, though, can't computers do this sort of thing more efficiently? "

Maybe we can use this image technology in cars and trucks, and hold a contest to see who can cross the desert first?

"perhaps by searching for what looks like man-made objects in remote areas"

Said by a member of the junkiest species ever.

Re:Does this really improve the odds of finding hi (1)

AmericanInKiev (453362) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523515)

Agree on two points,
The One-click Mechanical Turk is highly inefficient as it requires loads of clicks and scrolling for each of the impossible small search areas provided.

While something is better than nothing - what's the point of a large community effort if not to advance the technology, and maintain the technology so that in future cases, it can be deployed more effectively.

If this is the best google can do - i'd sell their stock.

AIK

Re:Does this really improve the odds of finding hi (2, Informative)

Dan East (318230) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523535)

I press the "End" key to scroll all the way down. Look at the image. Click Yes or No. Click Submit Hit. Three interactions per image.

Dan East

Re:Does this really improve the odds of finding hi (1)

ozric99 (162412) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523633)

I hit "End" and scroll all the way down. Look at the image. Attempt to click yes or no. It's grayed out. Hit Accept HIT. Hit "End" to scroll down. Now the radio buttons are working. I hit Yes or No and click Submit. I then scroll all the way down, look at the picture, don't see anything so go to click "No" - it's grayed out again. Close Browser.

Re:Does this really improve the odds of finding hi (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523725)

Check "automatically accept next HIT" or whatever it is, enter anti-bot CATCHPA, then it works sort of as you want.

It still could be a lot better, but it's not horrible once you see that checkbox.

Re:Does this really improve the odds of finding hi (1)

turtledawn (149719) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523557)

most OCRs for images other than text need to be trained on a sample image. This type of rough, broken terrain makes for really bad sample images- every photo is different. You'd spend more time teaching the computer what wasn't a plane than you'd save using the computer. We use an image recognition automated inspection tool at my workplace to inspect chips for defects and as regular as most of our chip features are, we still haven't gotten it down to a really usable level of false positives.

The Face on Mars (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523657)

can't computers do this sort of thing more efficiently? you think a computer could pick out potential "hits" for further review by trained professionals, perhaps by searching for what looks like man-made objects in remote areas or comparing old imagery with the current, updated samples.

But what exactly are you looking for?

Remember the "Face on Mars?" It is very easy to find significance in patterns that are pure chance. The computer can be no more rational and objective than its programmer.

In World War Two, instead of constructing elaborate wooden mock-ups, you could create a convincing illusion of a fighter base simply by painting abstract shadows of aircraft on the ground.

Re:Does this really improve the odds of finding hi (3, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523823)

Seriously, though, can't computers do this sort of thing more efficiently?
Nope. The govt. has spent millions or billions on this problem over the years, but they still employ analysts to do it manually for the most part.

What, you thought there was no interesting CS research left to do?

Re:Does this really improve the odds of finding hi (1)

G Fab (1142219) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523471)

It's possible that thousands of eyes will work better.

It's also possible it will just create a flood of false positives, but it's worth getting this stuff figured out.

Re:Does this really improve the odds of finding hi (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523511)

If amateurs can find new meteor craters [astroseti.org] with google earth, why not airplanes? How trained do you really have to be to spot an oddly shaped bright feature in otherwise mundane terrain?

Re:Does this really improve the odds of finding hi (1)

dapho (939695) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523691)

You're talking to a crowd who probably has no trouble differentiating between a size 34 C and a size 35 C.

Re:Does this really improve the odds of finding hi (2, Informative)

Rorschach1 (174480) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523709)

It probably can't hurt, but you're right in that it can be difficult for even a trained observer to spot the wreckage of a small plane at that resolution - or even from 5,000 feet with your own eyeballs.

I spent a few years on the local search and rescue team and fortunately only got to see one serious crash up close. From the air, it looked more or less like a bunch of trash strewn across a 100-foot stretch of hillside. Nothing you'd identify immediately as an aircraft, though in this case the huge burn mark helped it stand out.

high-resolution satellite imagery (2, Funny)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523353)

Cool, can i get some of my neighborhood? The stuff on google is a good 5 years old, if not older. The resolution is pretty poor too.

Re:high-resolution satellite imagery (1)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523799)

Cool, can i get some of my neighborhood?

Try Microsoft (booo! hisss!) Live Search. Google had only the usual low-res satellite image of my neighborhood, but MSFT had high res airplane photos... and from multiple perspectives!

yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20523365)

If only we channel this energy into solving real problems, such as the disappearance of Natalee Holloway or the latest gossip concerning Paris Hilton.

If you find anything interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20523387)

...put it on photobucket, and link it here.

We'll tell you you're seeing things.

Fuck Steve Fosset (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20523393)

Talentless showoff. A Paris Hilton for the nerd demographic.

Nevada (3, Informative)

mysterious_mark (577643) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523395)

The area of Nevada where he is missing is actually rugged and mountainous ( I have some proerties in those parts myself ). Look on Google earth if you don't believe me, the name 'Nevada' means ',mountains. Also area 51 is now where nearby. There's a lot of rugged and inaccessible terrain he could've gone down, unfortunatley, and 5 days is a long time without water, its dry and hot out this time of year. I'd say the situation doesn't look good at this point, but we can always hope for a miracle, best of luck to the SAR and CAP people.

Re:Nevada (4, Informative)

Tofof (199751) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523477)

the name 'Nevada' means ',mountains. No, I think you've got your states confused. The word 'nevada' means 'snow-covered.' The word 'montana' means 'mountain.'

Montana with ntilde (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20523809)

The correct Spanish word for mountain is montaña, not a plain n but n with ~ on top.

Re:Nevada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20523485)

Wrong, the word "Nevada" actually means "snow fall" or "snow storm", look http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/nevada [wiktionary.org] .

Re:Nevada (1)

Nzeanzo (803788) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523571)

One scenario this solution will not resolve, is if Steve had pitched his plane into a body of water - into one of the hundreds of small lakes in this area :/ What about infrared imaging? Perhaps this area is just too large to reliably search this way. And of course, it would pick up wild mammals too.

Re:Nevada (1)

doxology (636469) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523697)

Almost all of the area in the new imagery is actually in California (around Bridgeport). Though I guess it is close to Nevada and is Nevada-like terrain.

In desperate times like this.... (0, Offtopic)

WwWonka (545303) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523397)

I'm surprised the search and rescue teams haven't called on the one man fit for this job...

...it's time to send in LEEEEEEEEERRRROOOOOOOOY JEEEEEEEENKINS!

Steve Fosset? (0, Troll)

j.a.mcguire (551738) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523403)

More like Steve Fossil! I thought the search for this man was a cover for the US Govt to search the desert their recent missing nuke from that B-52?

Maybe they can also find Waldo while at it. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20523421)

.,.

(cat does not got my tongue)

Amazon's incompetence (0, Troll)

deathtopaulw (1032050) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523425)

they should take a page out of galaxyzoo's book and make this easier you have to like... sign in, then figure out what a HIT is then accept it, then click yes or no, then remember to click auto accept hit, then randomly it goes "hey wait aren't you a bot?" and you have to enter in letters thanks for impeding the search for this guy amazon

Re:Amazon's incompetence (1)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523607)

Seriously, I have a hankering to short Amazon stock after seeing how shitty their implementation of the Mechanical Turk concept is.

Re:Amazon's incompetence (4, Insightful)

JacksBrokenCode (921041) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523623)

thanks for impeding the search for this guy amazon

So they have an infrastructure in place that can easily organize & manage a massive search like this and you want to bitch because you had to "like... sign in" and occasionally fill out a CAPTCHA? Jeez, dude. A man's life is likely at stake here and a company stepped up to try and help the cause and you're complaining because they didn't implement the solution exactly as you would've liked. Why don't you spend more time checking out HITs and less time posting stupid shit on /. if you care so much about the process being impeded?

I would like to help (1)

MortenMW (968289) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523429)

I would like to help, but it does not work in FF on Linux...

Re:I would like to help (1)

realdodgeman (1113225) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523649)

But you can use the Google Earth ad-on in your google earth for Linux...

Re:I would like to help (1)

Llamalarity (806413) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523653)

Yes it does. Mandriva 2007.1, Firefox 2.0.0.6. Did take clicking "Accept Hit" several times first.

Missing Aircraft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20523437)

All Fossett had to do was install a locater beacon in his private aircraft and he would have been home the same night he disappeared.

Re:Missing Aircraft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20523705)

Could have also filed a flight plan. Oh well.

Doesn't work over here. (2, Interesting)

Dakkus (567781) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523441)

Hmm. I found something that was interesting that is of correct sizr and somewhat airplane shaped. Probably nothing, but there's still the possibility. However, the frigging site doesn't accept my clicks on either of the radio buttons under the sample image. The browsers I'm using are Safari, Camino and Firefox
Am I doing it wrong or is the page really picky when it comes to peoples' browser choises?
"No Windows, no helping"?

Anyone got it working?

Re:Doesn't work over here. (1)

Puff of Logic (895805) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523539)

You'll need to "Accept HIT" and log in before you can select anything, I've found.

Re:Doesn't work over here. (1)

Puff of Logic (895805) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523565)

Actually, I'll shut up. It still doesn't work.

Re:Doesn't work over here. (1)

CNeb96 (60366) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523581)

I had the same problem at first in firefox and IE in windows. The FAQ below answers it. Short answer, click accept HIT at the top of the screen to log in with your amazon account first or it will not enable the forms. The "reward" discussed below is how much a site may pay you per recognition task, this particular task pays nothing.

http://www.mturk.com/mturk/help?helpPage=gettingst arted#what_HIT [mturk.com]

How do I get started?

You can get started right away exploring Amazon Mechanical Turk, and finding work you want to complete. When you accept your first HIT, you will be prompted to sign in with your Amazon.com account e-mail address and password. If you already have an Amazon.com account, you can simply sign in. If you don't yet have an Amazon.com account, you can easily create one on the spot.

What is a HIT?

A Human Intelligence Task, or HIT, is a question that needs an answer. A HIT represents a single, self-contained task that you can perform to completion and collect a reward. You may do as many HITs as you like, whenever you like, in any order.

Reporting arbitrary coordinates? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20523481)

I was just looking around the area myself with Google Earth, and saw this, which looks vaguely like a dirt-covered plane: 38.4198N, 119.2905W

Probably nothing, but who knows. Unfortunately, there's no way to flag arbitrary coordinates for review, just the random pictures it spits out.

Re:Reporting arbitrary coordinates? (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523919)

Speaking of coordinates, who knows the location of the strip he launched from?

Paging John Galt? (1)

greggygate (784738) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523489)

That area looks strangely similar to what I always imagined the hidden capitalist's oasis would look like from Atlas Shrugged, where all the people who make the world go find refuge...

Re:Paging John Galt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20523665)

No, that looks more like this: http://www.angryflower.com/atlass.gif [angryflower.com]

Another Post 9-11 Screw-up (0, Troll)

Timtimes (730036) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523505)

Tracking every call and email but STILL not properly tracking aircraft? Somebody remind Bush that we weren't attacked by email or phone on 9-11. Enjoy.

Another "I hate Bush" Post. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20523609)

"Tracking every call and email but STILL not properly tracking aircraft? Somebody remind Bush that we weren't attacked by email or phone on 9-11. Enjoy."

We tracked them just fine, until they crashed into the two towers, and the ground. What's your point again?

Re:Another "I hate Bush" Post. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20523741)

Oh yeah, nobody would ever use a private plane as a weapon [nytimes.com] , right?

Oh yeah, totally. (2, Insightful)

ChePibe (882378) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523679)

We're all screwed unless the government can track small aircraft flying over entirely unpopulated land in the middle of nowhere near absolutely no valuable targets. So remote, in fact, that no one has noticed a plane go down in the last week.

You're right - this is obviously yet another demonstration of our inability to defend against terrorism. /sarcasm

Found a plane... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20523507)

38 29' 03.51" N
119 24' 21.64" W

Re:Found a plane... (5, Interesting)

Fullerene (1151313) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523593)

The scale make it a little bit small, but I think it is exactly the sort of thing that they are telling us to report to them. Contact the HIT requestor via Amazon perhaps?

Looks like a plane to me too.

Re:Found a plane... (3, Informative)

Fullerene (1151313) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523671)

Follow-up. I have contacted the person who put the satellite picture on Amazon and sent them AC's coordinates. No need for everyone to do it, I'm sure they're busy right now.

Mod Parent Up (4, Interesting)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523615)

I'd say that's a hit. The object matches the dimensions of a Super Decathlon, according to Google Earth.

Re:Found a plane... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20523795)

mod parent up. Looks very very much like a plane to me

Re:Found a plane... (4, Insightful)

locster (1140121) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523839)

Loosk like it may actually be flying. It may even be a search plane.

Re:Found a plane... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20523829)

Note that "At least 6 old aircraft wrecks - including 3 previously un-charted - have already been found, adding to the confidence of the teams that their efforts can identify aircraft forced down in the rugged high desert." -- but it's still essential to report any plane sightings. I think I found one at 38.088913,-119.515457.

This is wrong on so many levels... (3, Insightful)

pongo000 (97357) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523555)

Most of us aren't SAR experts, and wouldn't know a burn mark from a ridge shadow. The SARs that will be sifting through the public's mostly incorrect identification of accident artifacts would be better utilized in direct search efforts (either in the air or using imagery), rather than being distracted by what could best be considered a somewhat morbid game of "Where's Steve".

The time to test this type of technology out isn't during a live SAR mission. Leave the search and rescue to the experts, and please don't tie up their time with your well-meaning, but ultimately time-wasting, suppositions.

This is wrong on so many levels...Tipping. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20523717)

"The time to test this type of technology out isn't during a live SAR mission. Leave the search and rescue to the experts, and please don't tie up their time with your well-meaning, but ultimately time-wasting, suppositions."

So those police tip-lines really bother you then?

Re:This is wrong on so many levels... (0)

iksbob (947407) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523767)

Who's wasting who's time? This call for help will draw almost purely on the resources of people that would otherwise just sit and passively read the headlines.
Sure, the general public could very well miss something that a trained professional would pick up on, but that just means you shouldn't use untrained public input to rule out an area, only to draw attention to it. If you leave the search up to just the professionals, they'll end up going through every single image. If they were to use an hour a day to check the top images sugested by the public, it would make little difference in their overall productivity, assuming they have some kind of checklist for areas that have already been examined. When their usual search routine brings up an image that has already been flagged by the public and checked, why check it again? They could just move on to the next image, resulting in very little net lost time.

And for other searches (2, Funny)

bgspence (155914) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523605)

where is Bin Laden, or WMDs, or Waldo...

Too bad UAV are illegal (2, Interesting)

AmericanInKiev (453362) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523611)

These pictures are lousy - to really get useable images would require a fly-over.
Manned flyovers are expensive, slow, and often dangerous if a person is lost due to inclimate weather;
However Unmanned flyovers can be conducted in poor weather, at very low cost, and without pilot fatigue or airspace crowding concerns.

It is ironic that private pilots have been objecting to uav, and now their hero doesn't have the benefit of private UAV flights for search and rescue in his time of need.

Not to gloat, but this would be a fitting time for the private pilots associations to change course on elbowing out UAV's and giving another nascent industry to europe.

AIK

Great use of the technology, but... (3, Interesting)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523637)

This is a very good use of the technology. I hope this works if for no other reason than to bring closure to his family if he hasn't survived.

My problem is the way they've got the web page set up. Every time I submit a new "HIT", I have to scroll all the way down the page again to see the next image. It's great that they have a "primer" a the top, but I've done a couple hundred now... I don't need to keep seeing that over and over again. Just cut to the chase and show me the next picture to examine.

Also, looking at the Google Earth swath that this is covering, I can't help but think that he might be outside of that. Can anyone comment? Or do they know "if he's anywhere, he's in that area."?

-S

he totally disappeared... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20523661)

into a camoflouged mountain like john galt in Atlas Shrugged

Re: Help Find Steve Fossett (0, Redundant)

ozbird (127571) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523713)

Was he wearing a red and white striped shirt and beanie?

Perhaps.. (2, Funny)

Ginger_Chris (1068390) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523719)

I recently lost my mobile phone somewhere in Wadham College gardens, Oxford, and I was wondering if I could get this kind of help to find it. Any takers?

Bin Laden next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20523749)

Get Amazon to upload hi-res pictures of Pakistan next.

Turn off the "terrain" (2, Informative)

Joao (155665) | more than 6 years ago | (#20523937)

I was about to post how distorted the image is, when on a hunch I decided to unclick the "terrain" box on GE. The image becomes a LOT clearer, but I still don't think it is nearly clear enough to identify something as small as a 22" plane.
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