By now, I hope you've seen/used Google Earth. If you haven't, you should go to Google right now and type in Google Earth and take a look. Now the creative genius' at Google have gone one step further - Google Under the Sea. Here's the details from the Wall Street Journal, and a video tour from Google below:
"The search giant Monday added imagery for the ocean floor to its popular 3D mapping service, which allows users to browse satellite images of the earth’s terrain.
Google executives announced the enhancements at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, highlighting partners ranging from the US Navy to National Geographic. The partners contributed data and tools to make the expansion possible.
The new version of Google Earth, which can be downloaded at earth.google.com, allows users to explore the sea floor and to view videos and images of sea creatures. It also includes details like advice on the best surf sports, a 3D model of the undersea laboratory Aquarius and logs of real ocean expeditions.
The undertaking underscores Google’s ongoing effort to get more third parties to build free tools and services within its 3D world. Users can discover features like a tour of cool travel spots or even a virtual journey through a theme park by searching for places and activities within the software. Companies and individuals continue to add their own features and markers just for fun, or to promote particular sights. And Google continues to push the service as a helpful way for researchers to illustrate scientific findings, like the impact of climate change.
In an interview, John Hanke, Director of Google Earth and Maps, said Google envisions the new features as a “storytelling platform” for people interested in the oceans and related issues.
At Monday’s event, former Vice President Al Gore demonstrated how another new feature – the ability to look at imagery from a particular location over time — could be used to demonstrate the impact of climate change.
Hanke said that while Google users “may actually learn something” from exploring the new features, he would be happy if they “just had a little fun.”