Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Grassroots and new faces in Japan's protests

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Hollande’s Socialist Party is ‘tearing itself apart’

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Alpha Condé reacts to Dadis Camara's bid to return home

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'We need an American in every train compartment'

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

When China sneezes: World markets rattled by Shanghai’s burst bubble (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Desperate to get to Europe: How to handle the migrant surge? (part 1)

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Behind the scenes of France's National Assembly

Read more

#TECH 24

Saving water, one shower at a time

Read more

FOCUS

Katrina, ten years on: Young survivors still grapple with trauma

Read more

Google Earth explores oceans

Latest update : 2009-02-02

The popular Google Earth application is now allowing users to explore the oceans thanks to 3D underwater terrain mapping. Nearly four years after the Internet company launched Google Earth, it has been downloaded 400 million times.

AFP - The search engine Google launched a new service Monday to allow Internet users to explore the depths of the world's oceans from the comfort of their homes on dry land.
  
The "Ocean in Google Earth" feature will allow users to "dive beneath the water surface, explore 3D underwater terrain and browse ocean-related content contributed by marine scientists," a Google statement said.
  
"Google Earth is equipping itself with a new dimension: depth," Jean-Francois Wassong, an engineer at Google France, told a news conference.
  
Nearly four years after Google Earth enabled users to zoom in to view streets, and later explore galaxies in the sky, the latest version of the software allows virtual travellers to dart across miles of unchartered territory underwater.
  
"Oceans cover more than 70 percent of the planet's surface but only a little bit has been explored," said Florence Diss, head of Google's geographical partnerships, referring to findings that humans have examined just five percent of world's seas.
  
By allowing users to explore underwater volcanoes, hunt for whales and learn more about shipwrecks, Google says "Ocean in Google Earth" offers a platform for everyday Internet browsers to link up with the scientific community.
  
The feature includes 20 different layers of content contributed by leading ocean explorers, scientists and researchers, such as photos and videos of "hot spots" around the world and information on marine protected areas.
  
It also has an animal tracking device in which users can follow animals that have been tagged by satellite.
  
Diss said the decision to expand Google Earth to cover the world's oceans "is not about making money". But she would not reveal the project's cost.
  
Since its launch in June 2005, Google Earth has been downloaded more than 400 million times.
  
The free software gives Internet users access to satellite images and maps around the world.

Date created : 2009-02-02

COMMENT(S)