Search for Amanda Eller highlights new technology to help find people in wilderness

Search for Amanda Eller highlights new technology to help find people in wilderness
Amanda Eller was found in this densely-forested area, according to her rescuers. (image: Javier Cantellops)

HONOLULU (AP) - The dramatic rescue of a hiker lost for more than two weeks in a remote Hawaii forest is showing how emerging technology is helping search teams more efficiently scour the wilderness for missing people.

Hundreds of volunteers used a GPS-enabled trail hiking app on their cellphones to track the paths they walked while looking for Amanda Eller.

Search organizers put the GPS data on specialized digital maps to see what areas volunteers had already searched and identify new places for them to look. The technology led them to Eller.

She stayed alive for 17 days last month by eating plants and drinking stream water.

The software is particularly useful when teams are organizing and tracking the work of large numbers of volunteers.

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