Google Earth’s latest update – Google Ocean – adds a plethora of underwater maps for users to take a dive beneath the water surface and explore the 3D terrain (no more 2D relief maps!) of the world’s sea floors, completely with underwater elevations. Users will be able to explore underwater volcanoes and shipwrecks, and even video footage from the most famous diving spots across the world.
And to make sure you have plenty to look at Google added 20 content layers containing information from the world’s leading underwater researchers, ocean explorers and scientists.
The virtual earth is coming more and more alive…and new layers for travel websites are already in development!
At the launch event in San Francisco, former vice president Al Gore said:
[…] you can now dive into the world’s ocean that covers almost 3/4 of the planet and discover new wonders that had not been accessible in previous versions.
Following up on this new update to Google Earth conversation organisations are hoping to raise awareness of issues threatening underwater life. Head of the global maritime programme at the IUCN (International Union for the Conversation of Nature), Carl Gustaf Lundin, said:
With this, everybody can see the unbelievable beauty of our marine life, and how incredibly threatened it is. We hope this major technological innovation will get the public more involved in marine conservation and encourage governments and businesses to stop driving ocean species to extinction.
Additionally, the latest update add these features to Google Earth:
- GPS tracking
- Virtual time travel (observe changes in satellite images, such as Lake Chad’s river-bed or the 2006 World Cup stadium)
- Updates to Google Mars’ 3D terrain
- Improved ability to record tours and placemark controls
You can download Google Earth here.
First commercially used layers around the corner?
With the release of Google Earth’s ocean layers the travel industry (in particular maritime travel) is looking forward to cashing in on the new update to present tours in even more detail and interactivity. I cannot go into any more detail (NDA and all), but look out for a travel company dealing with boat and diving tours, something tells me you will be amazed by the level of detail and interactivity 😉