Jim Gray Missing: Help find him by searching satellite imagery

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Update (2/2/07):  The Associated Press is reporting that the Coast Guard has called off their four-day search for Jim Gray.

“Although this search is suspended, if new information arises, it will be investigated,” said Capt. David Swatland, the Coast Guard’s deputy sector commander for the Northern California area.  “It’s one of the most frustrating and unusual cases we’ve had.”

Jim Gray, known most notably in the geoworld for his work creating the Terraserver is being reported as missing at sea. After four days, the US Coast Guard has called off its extensive search. Private efforts to find Jim Gray are ongoing and you can help by visiting Amazon’s link to the search effort The technological search effort involves reviewing individual satellitel images to determine if there are any pixels that warrant further investigation.

On Sunday, Jim Gray left San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge area for the Farrallon Islands, a journey of about 27 miles.  Charles Babcock on InformationWeek reports:

Now the Coast Guard’s helicopter, its C-130 search plane, two 87-foot patrol boats, a 41-foot Coast Guard utility boat and an Alameda County maritime patrol boat are searching 1,750 square miles of ocean for him.

According to his web page, Jim Gray is a researcher and manager of Microsoft Research’s eScience Group.   His areas of interest include “working with the astronomy community to build the world-wide telescope and has been active in building online databases like http://terraService.Net and http://skyserver.sdss.org.”

Updates on the search effort for Jim Gray are being posted on the Oakleaf Blog.


Source: InformationWeek
From Amazon’s Mechanical Turk:

 Jim Gray Missing: Help find him by searching satellite imagery


You will be presented with 5 images. The task is to indicate any satellite images which contain any foreign objects in the water that may resemble Jim’s sailboat or parts of a boat. Jim’s sailboat will show up as a regular object with sharp edges, white or nearly white, about 10 pixels long and 4 pixels wide in the image.

If in doubt, be conservative and mark the image.

Marked images will be sent to a team of specialists who will determine if they contain information on the whereabouts of Jim Gray.

Friends and family of Jim Gray would like to thank you for helping them with this cause.

Jim Gray


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