How to help search for missing Malaysia Airline Jet in the Indian Ocean – Crowdsourcing

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How to help search for missing Malaysia Airline Jet in the Indian Ocean

Source AP
Source AP

Just a few years ago society could only hope and pray for the missing planes, and missing loved ones that once had crashed in the mountains or oceans. We had to sit back and wonder what happened while so called experts search satellite data to find the crash site. But in today’s world of science and social media we have combined the two to form what is now called crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing is just as what it is called, using a crowd of people to source what is needed. Now instead of a small group of experts frantically search millions of square miles of terrain, they have distributed the same research satellite data to a much larger crowd to search the same maps.


Now you and I can send the kids off to school, sit down and log in to the online site Tomnod. Tomnod which mean “Big Eye” in Mongolian was started as a research project at the University of California in San Diego. Then just a few years later the satellite imaging company called Digital Global purchased it and has formed it into one of the main crowdsourcing sites online. Now you can help look for oil spills, downed aircraft, to mapping the damage of storms all the way to trying to find the tomb of Genghis Khan.

Recently Tomnod was used in the search for a small airplane that crashed in the central Idaho mountains near Christmas time. Thousand were able to search high resolution satellite images to help the search and rescue cover larger areas than what they could do just a few years ago. What took months to search now can be done in a few hours. Making search and rescue jobs much easier to cover larger areas to quickly reach the sites in question to potentially save lives.

Photo by How Foo Yeen/Getty Images
Photo by How Foo Yeen/Getty Images

Now with the mystery of the Malaysian flight missing maybe over the Indian ocean or even theories of it being flown to Pakistan or Iran, you can help in the search for it. Join the world in the search for the missing airliner. Send the kids off to school, or send them to bed at night and log in to Tomnod and grab healthy snack and join the search. With crowdsourcing becoming so widely used, in fact the images online for the missing flight have had some 200 million views! So they have been trying to build up their web capability to allow more to join in the search! So please be patient.


Check out Tomnod satallite images in the search for the missing Malaysian flight

Visit the main page for Tomnod crowdsource

Join the Tomnod Facebook page to receive updates on new searches


  1. As you search if you find something you think might need another opinion.. then you flag it and an expert is sent to verify what you think you have you are an actual searcher…

  2. its free to search! who knows maybe you can help the families of the missing, and better yet help the passengers on the plane

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