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July 10th, 2013
How The Damage From This Summer’s Wildfires Is Being Measured By The Company Behind Google Earth’s Imagery

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Whenever there’s a disaster anywhere in the world, DigitalGlobe deploys satellites to capture images. But the Moore tornado was one of the first tests of Tomnod’s crowdsourcing system post-acquisition. Immediately after the disaster, DigitalGlobe put a call out on social media channels for volunteers to analyze the damage. Anyone who accepted the challenge was asked to identify fallen trees, destroyed buildings, and tarped roofs within a small chunk of land (the disaster area was automatically divided up among volunteers). A statistical reliability algorithm weeded out unreliable users, producing a relatively accurate analysis. After an hour, DigitalGlobe had 15,000 points of interest identified, along with a detailed damage assessment map. Read More

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