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Coming soon … Google Ocean!

May 1, 2008

I’ve been so patient …

Finally, it seems that Google will do what I’ve been literally dreaming about. Below are excerpts from an article discussing the upcoming addition to GoogleEarth — adding higher resolution bathymetry data (you can read the whole article here).

The tool–for now called Google Ocean, the sources say, though that name could change–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.


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, adding that Google plans to try to fill in some areas of the map with high-resolution images for more detail.

I’m so excited.

On top of the depth map, and in addition to the select high-resolution tiled areas, there will likely be various layers of specialized data from different sources. For example, NOAA already has made public visual information for Google Earth related to sea hotspots around coral reefs, Gulf of Mexico marine debris, surface temperatures and wave heights in the Great Lakes, and shipwrecks.

Hotspots, reefs, and shipwrecks are indeed cool … but don’t forget submarine fans!


11 Comments leave one →
  1. May 1, 2008 2:03 pm

    I heard rumors about “Google Ocean” back in February from some folks attending a meeting about the uses of technology in geosciences instruction. It’s definitely good news, but somewhat tempered by (if I understood it correctly) the fact that Google is apparently NOT working with the folks that put together GeoMapApp (despite their willingness to collaborate).

  2. May 1, 2008 2:24 pm

    That sounds indeed cool! Can’t wait to see it for real!

  3. Erik permalink
    May 1, 2008 3:47 pm

    NASA’a World Wind app has had 3d bathymetry to go with its dry-land terrain for a few years now.

  4. May 1, 2008 5:58 pm

    This is excellent, it should greatly speed up my search for Atlantis.

  5. May 1, 2008 6:16 pm

    Ron, thanks for the insider info. Keep us

    Erik, I haven’t looked at WorldWind in about half a year, but at that point they didn’t have the very high-res bathy that I’m excited about. And both WorldWind and GE allow hi-res bathy overlays and such, but I’m excited for something that busy, er I mean lazy, people like me can explore with ease.

  6. May 1, 2008 6:38 pm

    oops … Ron, I was going to say keep us informed if you find out more of the scoop.

  7. May 1, 2008 9:18 pm

    Cool – that’ll be a great addition to what’s already a pretty great tool

  8. madworkshop permalink
    May 2, 2008 4:58 am

    All we need now is a layer that’ll properly map the USGS earthquake database in 3D with seismic tomography along all major plate boundaries (i know they have a USGS layer with the quakes mapped, but its far too 2D for my liking). Add that to the high-res bathymetry and you could have an easily accessible model of oceanic lithosphere from formation to destruction.

  9. May 2, 2008 5:02 am

    Whoops, sorry, that “madworkshop” was me. can be annoying for a blogger, but a professional wordpress developer.


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