Call For Project

Crowd Spotting

More sets of eyes are better than fewer.

by Fredrik Falkman, SSRS

Subject Search
Status Starting up
Results Working Prototype
Owner Type Rescue organizations

This Call is a part of the Providence Search & Rescue UAV Project.

Searching for lost persons at sea can be a daunting task. Looking from above is often helpful. With the introduction of drones, Search & Rescue organizations will have new ways to stream aerial video from a search pattern. What if we could enlist the public to help looking at the video streams via social media? (The Swedish Sea Rescue Society, for example, has more than 50k Facebook followers).

Here’s how it might work:

  • A drone is remotely launched in response to a missing person at sea (See Providence)
  • The drone pilot sets up a search pattern, follows the progress and scans the video stream
  • A ping for help goes out over social media
  • As helpers enter the Crowd Spotting site the video feed is dynamically split up into smaller frames and time shifted to make sure that every frame gets viewed by as many spotters as possible

A Crowd Spotting system might be further enhanced in various ways:

  • Combine human spotters with learning machine vision
  • Research the optimum attention span of spotters in different conditions and time shift the video feed accordingly
  • Simplifying the interface to the point where anyone can instantly help with no prior training



Earth Watchers


Sentient ViDAR - Visual Detection and Ranging – which might be good enough or an excellent compliment to crowd spotting





Who is behind the project?

This is a project call from the Innovation office at Swedish Sea Rescue Society, SSRS. The SSRS is a non-profit organization that performs 70% of sea rescues in Sweden thanks to more than 2000 volunteers . Our constitution says that we are to:

  • Further the interest in sea rescue matters
  • Propose ways to improve sea rescue
  • Perform sea rescue operations

The person proposing this project is me, Fredrik Falkman. I’m an industrial designer by training working for the SSRS with development projects and general innovation.


If you have any questions about this project, you can send the project owner a message from here.


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