Google Goes Back to 1500, Plans to Map the Oceans

Illustration for article titled Google Goes Back to 1500, Plans to Map the Oceans

As a natural progression from Google Earth and Google Sky, the Mountain View monolith now plans to create 3D maps of the Earth's oceans and seas and make it available via Google Ocean. The software will allow users to navigate the aquatic bottom and see the topography that exists down there. Google also plans to include interactive data about various subjects such as weather patterns, coral reefs, shipwrecks and currents. The goal for Google Ocean is to use as much high resolution photography of the underwater terrain as possible, offering more than just a map. But researchers say such a process could take upwards of 100 years. And Google, if you're going to include an Easter egg similar to Google Earth's flight sim, could we get a guided tour with a virtual Team Zissou? [CNet News]



If Endless Ocean might lend any insight into underwater exploration programs, if you aren't blowing stuff up like X-COM: Terror from the Deep, you won't be playing it for long.

Looking at underwater 3D-topo isn't very exciting.

I'm not sure if this would be all that useful; underwater topography changes rapidly (especially around tidal areas), so beyond mucking about the Mariana Trench while waiting for e-mail, or seeing a 3d bump of the Titanic, I'm not sure if the a Google topo map will offer more than what is already available to survey companies.