How geodata really adds value
Signi Search Dogs
Signi search dogs is a non-profit organisation whose goal is to locate missing persons, both alive and deceased. They do this through search dogs and a professional team for diving, sonar, boating and ground search.
Cyclomedia geodata has also played an important role in the search for several years.
Since 2004, the foundation has been searching for missing persons weekly with its dogs in a wide variety of circumstances. This intensive effort not only demands the utmost from the dogs, but also from the 50 volunteers Signi counts.
Besides searches in the Netherlands, Signi search dogs have deployed their expertise in various international disaster areas. These included deployment during the tsunami in Japan, the earthquake in the Philippines and most recently in Turkey.
One thing is central to the work of Signi search dogs: finding missing persons and thus ending the uncertainty that affects those left behind in missing persons cases.
Good to know
What does Signi search dogs do?
We speak to Cor. One of the volunteers of Signi search dogs who deals with so-called cold cases. Among other things, Signi focuses on current missing persons and cold cases.
In current missing persons cases, founder Esther and other volunteers immediately start searching with the dogs. Often at the request of the missing person's family.
Signi's cold case team with driving forces Cor and Hennie deal with cold cases. This even goes back to missing persons cases from the Second World War. This involves a lot of preliminary research. Reliable, recent and historical geodata are very important to determine the search location.
The importance of geodata
Recent and historical aerial photographs or Cycloramas provide context about a search area or the route taken by a potential suspect to a find site. Have things changed before the disappearance and after?
In cold cases, the same issues are important, but point clouds also play a major role. This is because they show changes in the terrain. For example, can you see elevations in the landscape that are the size of a potential grave?
Defining the spot
Before actual digging can take place to locate a missing person or persons, a location must be determined as well and precisely as possible.
Cor: "Previously, we might dig 10 holes in a search area, but often with no results. If you are 5cm off, you are 100% off".
By combining capabilities such as geodata, ground radar, the search dogs and help from companies in digging, we work much more efficiently and the chances of success are much higher.
Images tell more
Curious about the documentary on Signi Search Dogs?
In November 2022, Search! The Woman, the Dog and Death aired (dutch).
Doing more with data
It is great to see organisations like Signi search dogs using our high-quality geodata for things that really matter when it matters.
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