NASA needs help sorting photos of Earth

North Korea (the dark area) and South Korea at night are seen in an undated NASA handout picture...

North Korea (the dark area) and South Korea at night are seen in an undated NASA handout picture from the International Space Station. (REUTERS/NASA/Handout via Reuters)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:41 PM ET

NASA needs people to help sort 1.8 million images of Earth taken from space since the early 1960s.

The project, being led by Complutense University of Madrid, is called Cities at Night and is broken up into three parts. The first asks people to sort images of cities, stars and other objects.

The second part asks people to use their knowledge of local geography to identify points in night images and match them to positions on maps.

The third part is to identify cities in images that show a city and the 500 km around it.

"Anyone can help," Alejandro Sanchez, a student at UCM, said in a press release. "Without the help of citizens, it is almost impossible to use these images scientifically. Algorithms cannot distinguish between stars, cities, and other objects, such as the moon. Humans are much more efficient for complex image analysis."


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