Software Nerd

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

How to outsource missing-people searches

I heard a cool news-story on NPR today.

Steve Fossett went missing while ballooning. His friend, Branson, contacted Google's mapping wing, who contacted their satellite-image suppliers for very up-to-date maps of the area of interest. The map was split into 300ftx300ft segments, and placed on Amazon's "Mechanical Turk" outsourcing site (no payment to people who search).

As a result, folks from all over the world are searching for a plane-crash in Arizona. That's creative.

(For the curious: I heard that the cost of a set of maps from the area of interest cost a little upward of $100,000.)



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