Google Ocean: the mysteries of the sea

Take a virtual dip around the Great Barrier Reef

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Google is set to unveil details of Google Ocean this week at an event in San Francisco.

[Update: you can download the Google Earth 5.0 beta here, which also includes Mars!]

Google Ocean is the undersea expansion of the massively popular and scientifically ground-breaking Google Earth.

Google Earth is already being used by over 400 million people, with many more fully 3D representations of major world cities via Google Street View also planned for the near future.

"The new additions to the website are expected to include views of the ocean and portions of the seabed. They will also ­provide detailed environmental data that will enhance information about the effect of climate change on the world's seas and oceans," reports Bobbie Johnston in The Guardian.

Environmentalists and Oceanographers

In San Fran this week, Google's Chief Exec, Eric Schmidt, "will introduce dignitaries including the former US Vice President and environmental campaigner Al Gore, and the ­veteran ocean­ographer Sylvia Earle, who is an "explorer-in-residence" at National Geographic."

"We know almost nothing about a lot of these places, and Google will do it for us," said David Sandwell, Professor of Geophysics at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, at the University of San Diego.

"It's a really useful tool for scientists, to [be able to] share data on the oceans."

Or for the non-scientists out there, there will also be the opportunity to "take a virtual dip at some of the world's most famous diving spots, including at sites in the Bahamas, the Red Sea and the Great Barrier Reef."