How Disaster Recovery Makes Use of ‘The Many’

At The House Crowd, we are understandably great believers in crowdfunding and crowdsourcing generally.

The power of crowds online to pull together for a common purpose being a central ethos of everything we do.

After all, it was recognising this transformative potential that led to our founder, Frazer Fearnhead, developing a unique crowdfunding property investment fund.

So, it’s interesting to see that something as significant and specialised as disaster recovery, with its use of radar and satellite, is harnessing the many to further search efforts, as has happened with the hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370.

Tomnod is a fascinating crowdsourcing project allowing users to help map damage after disasters or search satellite images, in this case, for signs of wreckage.

Given the vast areas involved in the search, this makes a worthwhile contribution, allowing participants to scan thousands of Km, and there have been plenty of willing participants with over 3m people signed up and poring over satellite images.

However, the common purpose has to be correct to make best use of the wisdom of crowds.

And as the story developed that the aircraft had turned off course, it transpired that efforts had been focused on the wrong areas.

At the time of writing, there have been fresh leads over possible debris sighted over the southern Indian Ocean, and it is hoped for the sake of all the relatives of those on board, that the mystery of what happened to the flight will soon be unravelled.

Meanwhile, Tomnod, have already updated images available to their users of tens of thousands of sq. km in the Indian Ocean, allowing the many to continue their help in the effort to find the missing airliner.