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Navigating the Ocean Floor with Google Earth...

GoogleOceanI have a lote of respect for Google – even though some may characterise them as the Evil Empire2 (you all know who EE1 are:-)

But I think they are jumping the gun a little with the claim being made with Google Earth version 5.1 that you can “You can navigate under the surface of the ocean just as you can anywhere else in Google Earth. This means that you can explore sea floor terrain, such as deep ocean trenches….”

Ahem, I dont think so.

According to the help files here … “You can hide or display the surface of the ocean. To do this, click View > Water Surface. You can view this visual effect from above or below this surface. Note that you can navigate under the ocean surface when it is displayed. ….Tip – To view exciting content related to oceans, in the Layers panel, click Ocean.”

I have tried doing this along the coast of Florida, in the Caribbean and even in the English Channel – but I am afraid the neither the Ocean nor the Earth moved for me.

With the terrestrial – above ground view – If your mouse has either a middle button or a depressible scroll wheel, you can tilt the view by depressing the button and moving the mouse forwards or backwards. If your mouse has a scroll wheel, you can tilt the view by pressing the SHIFT key and scrolling. You can also press SHIFT and the left mouse button and drag. That all works fine, and full instructions on the use of these keys are here.

I have previously posted about the acquisition of rights to National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) bathymetric data here. And there are the fantastic charts from Earth NC Data of course but I really expected 3D bathymetry within Google Earth… still, I am sure it is on its way otherwise it wouldnt have been necessary to licence the NGDC data.

In the meantime what you can see is satellite imagery of the Earth’s Oceans which uses data from SIO, NOAA, US Navy, NGA, and GEBCO – and very good it is too.

Unfortunately while we wait for full 3D imagery, the nutcases have had their interest aroused by these images andAtlantis are are starting to see strange things to add to the Google secret places 2008. For example a number of people claim to have found…er… Atlantis, yeah right!. These two videos will entertain as well as stop you falling into the same deep trench. Atlantis 1 and Atlantis 2

On a more sobering note, and while you are thinking about the Oceans and clicking around YouTube – have a look at the Greenpeace video with photography by Kip Evans.


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