Around 80% of all life on Earth can be found in the oceans, which cover more than 70% of the planet’s surface. Despite this wealth of life, less than 10% of our vast oceans have been explored by humans. This week, Google has released a new version of their popular Google Earth program which will give users the ability to discover the depths of our oceans.
Launched in 2005, Google Earth is a free application which combines satellite imagery with maps and user developed content. The addition of a Google Sky layer in 2007 also gave users the ability to explore the galaxy using telescope imagery. This latest ocean update helps to complete the picture.
Screenshot of one of the new layers. National Geographic
Ocean content has been developed in cooperation with more than 40 international partners including research institutions, conservation organizations and the media. The release includes around 20 new content layers such as topographic maps of the seafloor, images from the deepest part of the ocean, the Mariana Trench; locations of shipwrecks, and other ocean observations including data on climate change and endangered species.
The 5.0 version of Google Earth also comprises a number of other new features including historical imagery, allowing users to explore changes in certain locations over time in order to observe the impacts of key environmental trends such as climate change, desertification, deforestation and suburban sprawl.
Ocean related information on Earth Trends:
Source: Earth Trends