The Ocean in Google Earth combines renderings of underwater terrain with regional information from marine biologists and oceanographers to enable Google Earth viewers to explore the ocean realm and learn about marine life and other ocean-related areas of interest.
Given that science has only explored a small percentage of the vast ocean, which makes up 71% of this planet, this will be a unique and useful tool to help people gain an understanding of the importance of the marine environment.
Oceans are rarely discussed in the media during this era of greening the planet. Climate change is focused on the impact it will have on land, overfishing is a tremendous problem in the ocean, but few people are aware. The ocean is viewed superficially by most of humanity – we see the surface and assume the ocean is invulnerable to over-exploitation.
This tool will allow those with access to the web an up close and personal look at all ocean regions as well as access to information through fact files and videos and the ability to track satellite-tagged animals such as whales.
This tool is available on the latest version of Google Earth.
To read how the concept was born and implemented see: Google Earth Fills Its Watery Gaps from today’s New York Times.