Friday, June 17, 2011

Google Earth: "Not just about land"

I hate Google! I spend way too much time, time that should be spent working on my thesis, screwing around on Google Earth. Well, thank you Google, because your latest addition to Google Earth will only lessen my productivity even more. Oh well, I guess I might as well just accept it and start enjoying it.

The addition of which I speak is a new feature in Google Earth that show hi-resolution images of seafloor topography. The imagery covers only 5% of the ocean floor, which doesn't seem like much, but is actually an area the size of North America. The imagery shows uses a grid size of just 100m x 100m making this more deatiled look that the ocean floor than we have ever been afforded before. 

The data required for this map has been collected over the last two decades by scientific research vessels as they traverse the ocean. The data was then synthesized by the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University to create the map. 

The imagery shows all sorts of amazing features such as underwater canyons, mountains, deep sea hydrothermal vents, faults and all sorts of other cool features allowing users to explore a world never before available. People can also download the Columbia Ocean Terrain Synthesis which is an extra layer showing the ship tracks that actually performed the mapping. 

Besides being just a cool curiosity for fellow procrastinators these maps will also allow researchers a widely accessible tool for investigating the ocean floor all over the world. This will allow researchers to discuss faults systems and vents easily. This could help researchers come up with risk assessments for places that are susceptible to underwater earthquakes or tsunamis.

Here is a video showing some of the cool places you can visit.

Ok, have fun not working...I mean...exploring.

For more info check out these links:


1 comment:

  1. We use the topographic map portion of Google Earth on almost every project. Thanks for the new information.