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I don't know much about satellite technology, so someone please 'splain to me if this is, or is not possible.

Is there any way to take daily satellite photos of the possible regions where the girls might be, to be tracked and explored by everyone on the internet? If I could see my own car parked in my driveway on Google, why couldn't we track convoys of trucks and people?

Open to your comments.  Thanks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I have no idea if this is feasible (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but I'd love to see all available technologies put to use.  We must find these girls and punish their captors.  

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Thu May 08, 2014 at 09:26:47 AM PDT

  •  Short answer no (5+ / 0-)

    1. The images from Google Earth etc are not real-time and can be many months old.

    2. According to recent reports, the area they may have been abducted to is heavily forested and rugged:

    The US has offered to send a team of experts, including soldiers and hostage negotiators. The UK says it is also providing "planning support". Aerial reconnaissance and satellites are not as helpful as they could be because of the region's rugged and dense terrain.

    "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Thu May 08, 2014 at 09:37:38 AM PDT

    •  Right-o. Even if they WERE real time (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wilderness voice, Librarianmom

      you cant see thru a forest canopy unless youre on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise.

      •  If you had three-letter-agency tech... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wilderness voice, 6412093

        You can use various bands of infrared, thermal infrared, radar, lidar to deal with that problem.

        You can see through tree canopies, but again, the amount of terrain is so large that you're collecting insane amounts of data and searching for a needle in a haystack.

        •  Somebody call CNN! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wilderness voice, Chinton

          They are just coming off many successful sitings of that plane--don't want to let all that experience go to waste!

          The more you learn, the less you know.

          by quiet in NC on Thu May 08, 2014 at 09:53:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Im not sure that works outside of PREDATOR movies (0+ / 0-)

          but its a good question.

          •  Radar can penetrate forest canopies. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            But radar has its own quirks, so the images of what's beneath them won't be high-quality. Finding people or even trucks down there won't be simple.

            Lidar (of the kind that one might fly on a Predator drone) might also be able to detect objects beneath a forest canopy. Again, picking out shapes of people or trucks or interesting objects is a computational challenge.

            I'm not saying it can't be done, but it is hard. Especially when looking for specific things in huge land-areas.

            And that assumes that the Nigerian government will let us do things like flying drones or U2 spy planes over the areas in question. Which they might...

            •  A lot of the processing (0+ / 0-)

              has to be done with a mark one eyeball.  Although the imagery may be good, shape recognition, especially where, for example, the lidar images produce very different shapes and patterns which would be impossible to interpret any other way. It is better though at imaging underground features - notably work in Egypt has revealed a number of new pyramids, cities and other archaelogical features.

              "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

              by Lib Dem FoP on Fri May 09, 2014 at 09:52:38 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  And tunnels (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The almost 300 schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria may be captives in what one local newspaper has called the evil forest, a mysterious corner of the country dotted with tents and lined with tunnels to house and move armed fighters.

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Thu May 08, 2014 at 10:03:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  google earth (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quiet in NC

    is not realtime. Many of its images are more than a year old, some three.

  •  I doubt it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilderness voice

    I'm not an expert, but I'm certain that Google Earth images are not real-time or anything approaching real-time.  If you're looking for the magical combination of real-time satellite imagery that is of sufficient quality to identify people on the ground, that's pretty much the province of government agencies with three-letter acronyms.  And they don't crowdsource.

  •  That's needles in a haystack. (2+ / 0-)

    First, Nigeria is the size of Texas, with 138 million people in it.

    Second, sure, you can fire up Google Earth or Google Maps, look at the aerial/satellite imagery, but you'll have problems.

    1. How do you distinguish Boko Haram's trucks and houses & such from everyone else's. They don't have neon signs on them.

    2. Even if you do find them, will they still be there? Most of the satellite images you see on Google Maps are months, or even years old. At best, weeks old.

  •  The other issue... (3+ / 0-)

    ...besides the time lag, is that the imagery in remote areas tends to not only be old, but low-rez. The reason for this is that the majority of commercial imaging satellites don't simply take an image of everything beneath them: they're tasked to image given areas, and if no one has had a reason to task the satellite to image a particular area, it probably won't be.

    A good example is the Canadian Arctic. Generally speaking fairly low-rez imagery across the entire thing, and much of it years old, but if you search around you'll notice some areas, out in the middle of nowhere, not near a community, have high-rez, recent imagery. The reason for that is that organizations such as the one I work for paid to get an image done of that specific area for a reason, and that image gets added to GoogleEarth. Anything outside that image doesn't have the same quality.

    So if that area of Nigeria hasn't had any reason why satellite imagery would be needed/wanted of it (and I haven't looked one way or the other), there wouldn't be any recent, high-rez imagery.

  •  Find the girls and then what? (0+ / 0-)

    Big group hug?

    Gonna need some people who know how to deal with foamy-mouthed murderous scum.

    Legal means "good".
    [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

    by xxdr zombiexx on Thu May 08, 2014 at 09:52:00 AM PDT

    •  I was under the impression... (0+ / 0-)

      ...that the team Obama was sending to look for the girls included some soldiers.

      But fair point. A rescue operation would probably involve a large number of heavily armed troops, mostly Nigerian, but possibly American as well, swarming the place.

  •  A site like, where people have (0+ / 0-)

    been searching for missing yachts, Malasian flight 370, and tracking flooding in the south, might work -- if someone contacted them to suggest it.

    An angry white man with a gun is a patriot. An angry Muslim man with a gun is a terrorist. An angry black man with a gun is a corpse. -- raptavio

    by Yasuragi on Thu May 08, 2014 at 11:16:04 AM PDT

  •  No. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Google Earth images are generally very old, and are refreshed when Google can afford new satellite imagery and  chooses to buy it.

    High resolution imagery is not satellite, it's aerial, and it's largely not available over the African continent.

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

    by terrypinder on Thu May 08, 2014 at 11:37:38 AM PDT

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