Google Ocean Unveiled

Posted by Sam Churchill on

We’ve got Google Earth and Google Sky. Now a map of the world below sea level — Google Earth 5, with Ocean enhancements, has been unveiled today in San Francisco. Blogrunner has full coverage.

With “Ocean” embedded in Google Earth, you can:

  • Dive beneath the surface and visit the deepest part of the ocean, the Mariana Trench
  • Explore the ocean with top marine experts including National Geographic and BBC
  • Learn about ocean observations, climate change, and endangered species
  • Discover new places including surf, dive, and travel hot spots and shipwrecks

Google Earth is compatible with computers that have Windows 2000, XP or Vista, along with relatively recent graphics cards and sufficient memory. Mac users must have a Mac OS X 10.4.0 operating system or later.

Sylvia Earle and John Hanke give us a quick video tour of the new Ocean features. New Scientist reviews the top sightseeing spots on Google Ocean.

Al Gore introduced the new version of Google Earth, Google Earth 5. “I’m here because I’m excited to hear from Sylvia Earl”, said the ex VP. Sylvia EarleExplorer-in-Residence for National Geographic – will speak as will Al Gore.

Read/WriteWeb highlights the new features of GE-5. The primary feature of the new Google Earth is Google Ocean. Dozens of partners contributed data to this endeavor.

Google Earth Blog says it could be the biggest announcement since Google Earth was released. Speakers include: former Vice President Al Gore, CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, VP of Google Marissa Mayer, and Director of Google Geo John Hanke.

“We had this arbitrary distinction that if it was below sea level it didn’t count,” recalled John Hanke, the Internet entrepreneur who co-created the progenitor of Google Earth, called Keyhole, and moved to Google when the company bought his company in 2004.

With only 5 percent of the ocean floor mapped in detail, and 1 percent of the oceans protected, Google executives and the marine scientists who helped build the digital oceans, reports the NY Times.

Some commercial Web sites, including and, have already been actively promoting ocean activities and will now enable divers or surfers to add their own narrated, illustrated “tours” of favorite reefs or beaches to Google Earth’s layers.

Ever since Google Earth was released in 2005, many people have wondered why the ocean floors seen in relief color were not in 3D. Part of the reason had to do the 3D model of GE not allowing sub-surface rendering, says the Google Earth Blog. Perhaps Google Oceans Could Unveil Climate Change Data.

According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) cabled observatories are part of the future of ocean science. What is a cabled observatory? Imagine a power strip at the end of an oversized extension cord deep within the ocean environment.

ORCA’s Eye-in-the-Sea (video) lures curious bioluminescence animals into view.

Additional DailyWireless articles include Google Ocean (April 08), The Platform, Underwater MIMO, Remote Ocean Viewer, Earth Day, Red Button 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.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Monday, February 2nd, 2009 at 10:18 am .

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