View Full Version : Help find Steve Fossett - Using the power of the 'net and satellite photography

09-09-2007, 03:45 PM
Google and Amazon.com have teamed up set up a system where anyone on the 'net can help locate missing aviator Steve Fossett.

Google has provided up-to-date aerial photography of the area where Steve's plane is assumed to have gone down. Amazon has set up a system where they present you with grid-section photographs. You look at the image and if you see something that deserves greater scrutiny, you 'flag' the image and provide a description about what you found.

Experts will be reviewing the flagged images, and with so many eyes looking over the terrain, we may indeed be able to determine where he went down.

Here's the link:

09-09-2007, 03:56 PM
What's the deal with them wanting authority to deduct funds when I tried to sign up?

09-09-2007, 04:41 PM
Well, I I signed up for Mechanical Turk years ago... so I'm not sure. Howere I THINK it has to do with if you want to CREATE a mechanical turk job. Otherwise, you are able to make money by accepting mechanical turk jobs.

Mechanical turk jobs are usually simple, repetitive type tasks that don't require a significant amount of skill but are still difficult things to create a computer program to do.

If you're nervous about signing up, I'd definitely read their terms, but it is Amazon, so I don't think they're going to drain your checking account. And I don't beleive you'll be charged for anything.

I went through the signup process, and I suspect you're talking about this line:
* I authorize the electronic transfer of funds, and if I request services, for Amazon Mechanical Turk to debit my bank account

This is because you can make money with Mechanical Turk by taking HITS. I actually never did make any money using this, but I know people who have made a few bucks. The Fossett job I beleive is a voluteer opportunity. They are not going to CHARGE you anything, and as I mentioned before, they would only charge you if you created a HIT.

So in a nutshell, they are asking for permission to transfer money to your account if you make any ... and to bill your account if you should post a job for completion.

09-09-2007, 06:37 PM
It would be great to have 1,000 of eyes looking but Google earth doesn't have enough acuity to see anything that small.


09-09-2007, 06:41 PM
I bet you could see a full plane, but the problem in, nose in wreckage would be too small, or even a well spread crash.

doesn't mean the idea is a terrible one.

If they were to temporarily release the higher quality imagery along with the "current" images, it might work better.

09-09-2007, 06:52 PM
It would be great to have 1,000 of eyes looking but Google earth doesn't have enough acuity to see anything that small.


It's my understanding that this is new imagery that was taken specifically for this task.

I don't know the max resolution, but it should be sufficient to at least spot large pieces of wreckage.