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Date: 2024-06-25 Page is: DBtxt003.php txt00006174

Initiative
Tomrod

Burgess COMMENTARY

Peter Burgess

TOMNOD INSTRUCTIONS

What is Tomnod? What am I looking at?
You are looking at a picture of earth, taken from space. DigitalGlobe satellites photograph our planet and collect billions of pixels every day. Tomnod is a place where we try to figure out what is happening in these images by asking YOU, and thousands more people in the Tomnod team, to mark what you see. When many people agree, we know we've found something interesting.

How do I mark something in the image?
If you see something interesting, mark it by first selecting the appropriate button at the bottom of the screen. Now mark the point of the image that is important. You should see a circle appear around your mark - that's it!


How are my marks saved? Every mark you make is automatically, immediately saved to Tomnod. We record the latitude and longitude of every click from every person and compare them all to determine where the team agrees.

How do my marks help? How does Crowdsourcing work?
As we get more and more marks from everyone in the Tomnod team, agreement emerages at the most interesting locations. We use CrowdRank, our statistical algorithm, to examine every mark from every person, identify the locations of maximum agreement and figure out what is going on. Tomnod is the wisdom of the crowd!

What happens if I mark the wrong spot? Can I delete a mark?
Don't worry if you make a mistake. The idea behind crowdsourcing is that many people must agree on a mark before we accept it. CrowdRank listens to the inputs from the entire crowd and is smart enough to ignore a few errors.

How do I see a new area?
The minimap in the bottom right shows the map you're currently viewing. You can navigate North, South, East or West using the arrows on the minimap. Or, if you want to go somewhere completely new, click Jump to New Area

How do I zoom in/out?
The images you see are already at maximum zoom, for the most detailed exploration. Use the minimap to see the big picture and keep searching!

How big will the objects I'm looking for appear in the satellite imagery?
The resolution of our DigitalGlobe satellite images means that 1 pixel corresponds to about 50cm x 50cm on the earth's surface. You can use the scale bar at the bottom of the screen to reference the object sizes you're looking for.

What happens if I stay as a guest user? Why should I register an account with Tomnod?
You're welcome to continue as a guest (all your clicks will always be recorded). Registering an account with Tomnod helps us keep track of all your contributions to this and future campaigns and improves how we determine overall team accuracy. We can also let you know next time Tomnod goes into action and needs your help!

How am I doing? What does the red box with the number mean? Other people on the Tomnod team mark the same images that you see. We track your cred -- the amount of agreement between your marks and the rest of the team. Your cred is shown in the red box at the bottom of the screen: as this number gets higher, your marks become more influential in the results we produce.

Sometimes when I try to mark a spot, I see 'Too Close'. What does that mean?
Once you've already marked a spot, you can't mark another spot that is 'too close' to your original mark.

Why does Tomnod need so many people? Can't computers solve this problem?
The planet is a big place filled with amazing and unusual things! Understanding every object, every location and every action on this pale blue dot is an epic challenge. We use automatic computer vision and machine learning where we can but, so far, the only true solution requires the most powerful information processing machine we know: the human brain. Scaling this solution to work on the trillions of satellite pixels we collect every day requires thousands of brains, all working in harmony. Hence Tomnod!

What does 'Tomnod' mean?
Tomnod means 'Big Eye' in Mongolian. We're using the big eyes of everyone on the Tomnod team to explore satellite images and discover important information about our planet.

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