3 February 2009
MBARI helps users of Google Earth explore the oceans
|The circles in this Google Earth image show "hot spots" in Monterey Bay that allow the public to learn about scientific research and to explore underwater features within the bay.
Google Earth 5 users can view seafloor terrain, follow research voyages, watch underwater footage, explore shipwrecks, and track the state of ocean-health issues. Selecting the "Oceans" option in Google Earth 5 brings up a 3-D globe with colorful icons scattered across the seas. These icons represent 21 different “layers” or data sets containing information about the ocean.
Clicking the sailing-ship icon for the "Ocean Expeditions" layer shows small anchor symbols scattered across the globe, and connected by a web of fine white lines. The lines trace the routes of oceanographic cruises and the anchors indicate points of interest (photos, a log entry, data collected) during each cruise. MBARI contributed a number of images and logs from our recent research cruises that are accessible through this layer. With just a click of the mouse, visitors can follow research vessels, learn about the equipment and people on the cruise, and track the progress of the expedition. Google plans to add new cruise logs from MBARI and other institutions in the near future.
|Google Earth 5 allows viewers to "fly" around the underwater areas such as Monterey Canyon (shown here).
Google Earth users who want to know about the health of the ocean and strategies for protecting the marine environment will appreciate the “State of the Ocean” layer. This layer includes six sub-layers that provide all sorts of useful information. For example, the Sea Food Watch program from Monterey Bay Aquarium is featured here, and allows users to locate the best sustainable seafood choices around the world.
MBARI president and CEO Marcia McNutt served on the Ocean Advisory Council for the Google Earth upgrade project, and was on hand for the official launch of Google Earth 5.0 at the California Academy of Sciences on February 2, 2009. She noted, “The Grand Canyon has always been one of America’s most beloved tourist attractions, and yet how many people know that a canyon every bit as long, steep, and magnificent lies beneath the waters of Monterey Bay?”
With the new ocean features in Google Earth, such amazing undersea wonders are just a few mouse-clicks away.
|This image from Google Earth 5 shows the southern portion of Monterey Bay and a pop-up window (enlarged, at right) that describes a shale reef just offshore of the city of Monterey.
- Google blog on the public release of Google Earth 5.0
- On-line Video describing Google Earth 5.0
- Joint press release about Google Earth 5.0 from the Monterey Bay Aquarium and MBARI.
For more information on this article, please contact Lisa Borok:
(831) 775-1807, firstname.lastname@example.org