The map above, created by Mapbox chief scientist Bruno Sánchez-Andrade Nuño, shows the areas photographed by satellite in the search for Malaysian Airlines MH370, which disappeared several days ago. There are many satellites involved in the search, but this map includes NASA, South Korea, and the major commercial providers.
“I like to see how much all these companies are contributing to the effort,” said Sánchez-Andrade Nuño. “It’s beautiful.”
The search for the plane is now moving west into the Andaman Sea and the Indian Ocean, but it maybe some time before satellites are able to reach those areas. As Sánchez-Andrade Nuño explains, satellites have to pass over a station on the surface to receive instructions, then must pass over their targets in their orbits around the earth, and then must return to a station to transmit the data. The process can be a long one, although once they are in position, they can photograph an enormous area very quickly. Click below for an interactive version of the map, which shows the times at which each area was photographed.
Note: This map has been updated with new data.