“Storm sails shredded last night, now bare poles. Going 4kt 310deg will update course info at 6PM”.
This was the text last message received from Evi Nemeth as she sailed through a powerful storm in the treacherous Tasman Sea. She and a crew of six others went missing on June 4 aboard the 70 foot schooner, Nina, en route from New Zealand to Australia.
After more than a month without any contact from the Nina, the families and friends of the crew members reached out to DigitalGlobe to see if satellite imagery could assist in the search for the yacht or a life raft. In pursuit of our purpose for seeing a better world, we scrambled to help. Using models of the currents and winds to predict where the Nina might have drifted, we directed our constellation of satellites to collect almost 500,000 square kilometers of high-resolution imagery over the ocean.
With imagery in hand covering an area larger than the state of California, we needed help to examine every pixel. On August 7, we activated a Tomnod crowdsourcing campaign to engage the public’s help in searching the ocean for any clues that might lead to the rescue of the Nina’s crew. Tomnod technology, a recent addition to DigitalGlobe’s capabilities uses crowdsourcing — thousands of online contributors who each examine small sections of a massive area — to derive insight and information from DigitalGlobe’s rich imagery data.
Each member of the Tomnod crowd is being asked to search through a small segment of DigitalGlobe imagery and tag anything that looks like a boat or life raft. While the crowd quickly spotted a freighter plowing through the waves, the Nina’s whereabouts continues to remain a mystery.
In the past weeks, more than 12,000 individuals have identified or tagged hundreds of thousands of clues. Our crowdsourcing algorithms combine the crowd’s consensus in order to hone in on the most important locations so that we can deliver this information and aid search and rescue teams.
Join the campaign at http://tomnod.com/nod/challenge/ninarescue2
For more information on DigitalGlobe and our constellation of satellites, please visit https://www.digitalglobe.com/about-us/content-collection