First it was Google Earth. Then Google Sky. Next up: Google Ocean, says CNet.
The company assembled an advisory group of oceanography experts from institutions around the world to the Mountain View, Calif., Googleplex, says C/Net. There, they discussed plans for creating a 3D oceanographic map, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The tool–for now called Google Ocean–is expected to be similar to other 3D online mapping applications. People will be able to see the underwater topography, called bathymetry; search for particular spots or attractions; and navigate through the digital environment by zooming and panning. Blog Runner has more links on the topic.
Asked to comment on Google Ocean, a Google spokeswoman said the company had “nothing to announce right now.”
Oceanography researchers, however, say such a tool would be incredibly useful.
“There is no real terrain or depth model for the ocean in Google Earth,” said Tim Haverland, a geospatial application developer at the Fisheries Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). “You can’t get in a submarine and in essence fly through the water and explore ocean canyons yet.”
Google Ocean will feature a basic layer that shows the depth of the sea floor and will serve as a spatial framework for additional data, sources said.
Additional data will be displayed as overlying layers that depict phenomena like weather patterns, currents, temperatures, shipwrecks, coral reefs, and algae blooms, much like the National Park Service and NASA provide additional data for Google Earth and Google Sky.
The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) of Columbia University has created high-resolution sun-shaded images as well as digital elevation models covering the entire global ocean. It allows for interactivity similar to Google Earth through zooming in and out and by tilting the planet’s surface.
In other news, Google has turned Street Views, the virtual street level tours, from a fun diversion to a useful feature by combining them with driving directions.
The new features mean that when you’re searching for driving directions in one of the 42 U.S. cities that have Street View images, you can now preview each intersection in your route.
And for gamers…MapWii lets you choose Wii game players by proximity, decreasing latency. First you pick a country, then a sublevel (state in the U.S.). The site has been up for some time, but geo location matters for game players, too.
Additional DailyWireless articles include The Platform, Underwater MIMO, Remote Ocean Viewer, Earth Day, HiSeasNet Goes Live, Supercomputer 07, Ring of Fire Earthquakes, Intel’s Rural Connectivity Project, Visualizing the Future, iGrid 2005, Big Science Projects, Supercomputer Cells, Oceanographic Dead Zone, Earth Simulator, and Subducting The Zone.