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Will crowd sourcing help officials gather clues about missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370?

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Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Friday, March 14, 2014, 5:35 -

One week after the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, a lot of questions remain unanswered. 

Authorities have yet to uncover any compelling pieces of evidence, despite numerous false starts.

Now, they're turning to crowd-sourcing in hopes of locating the missing jet.


RELATED: Two Canadians among missing in Malaysia Airlines disaster 


So far DigitalGlobe, using the tomnod platform,  has served 10,000 square kilometres of satellite imagery and calculated that each pixel has been seen by live human eyes at least 30 times.

Members of the public are being invited to pour through the pixels, looking for evidence of the missing plane.

As of Thursday, more than 150,000 people have signed up to participate. Together, they've tagged more than 645,000 features in the map, according to the Telegraph.

The tagged images are then vetted by a team of experts to validate their authenticity.

The initiative has caught the attention of the popular news-sharing site Reddit, where users have set up a thread to discuss their findings.

Photo: Royal Malaysian Air Force Navigator captain Izam Fareq Hassan (R) talks with his team members onboard a Malaysian Air Force CN235 aircraft during a search and rescue (SAR) operation to find the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 plane over the Strait of Malacca on Friday. AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN (Photo credit should read MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images)

While the project has been generally well-received, it has evoked some skepticism.

"[Tomnod] is a neat site, and I'm having a look myself, but I'm extremely skeptical that what's left of the plane will look like a plane, that most debris will be visible at this resolution, and that people using this site won't just tag every rock and flotsam and fishing boat or even just the grain from the satellite imagery itself as 'debris'," said Reddit user sasazuka

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished from radar screens shortly after it took off from Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing, China last Saturday.

Two of the 239 people aboard are Canadian.

Many of the passengers are Chinese nationals, with citizens from other nations in Asia, North America and Europe, according to the Associated Press.

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