Finding Jim Gray

Came across this amazing example of people thinking outside the box and coming up with an innovate way to find their missing friend.

From Amazon CTO, Werner Vogels’ blog:

Computer science icon Jim Gray mysteriously disappeared after a solo trip with his sail boat outside San Francisco Bay. The coast guard has been searching for 4 days but has not been able to locate anything, not even debris. On Thursday 3 private planes searched through the coastal areas and they also returned unsuccessful.

Through a major effort by many people we were able to have the Digital Globe satellite make a run over the area on Thursday morning and have the data made available publicly. We have split these images into smaller tiles that can be easily scanned visually and stored into the Amazon S3 storage service. We then created tasks for reviewing these images and loaded then into the Amazon Mechanical Turk Service.

This is where you come in. We need your help in reviewing these images to see whether you can locate Jim’s boat in any of these images. Please go to the Amazon Mechanical Turk site and help us find Jim Gray.

What’s amazing is, from what I understand, Jim Gray played a large role in helping make much of this technology possible. It would be amazing if his innovations came back to one day save his life.

If you’ve got some spare cycles swing by and give them a hand.