Google has requested imagery from Digital Globe, the satellite imagery firm in Longmont, Colo., to help in the search for missing Nevada aviator Steve Fossett.
Fossett disappeared after taking off at the controls of a small plane Monday from the Flying M Ranch airstrip about 70 southeast of Reno, Nev. He left no flight plan, and searchers have been combing a 10,000 square mile expanse of Nevada and California to no avail.
Digital Globe’s QuickBird satellite scanned what is believed to be an 11-mile wide and 120-mile long strip of Nevada around the ranch, but Fossett could have flown beyond the boundaries of the satellite scan. Google declined to comment on the search but it’s known to connect search and rescue teams to available satellite imagery. Digital Globe and other satellite company imagery companies routinely feed Google data that goes into its Google Earth software, but Google Earth image posting is typically three to six months behind when it was taken.