Google Earth Goes into the Deep Blue

New updates to the online visualization program Google Earth add oceans to the image-based virtual version of the planet.

"All of the existing features on Google Earth - mountains, valleys, cities, plains, ice sheets - were built through programming from an elevation of zero up."

"That oversight had to be fixed before the months and months of new programming and data collection could culminate in the creation of simulated oceans. On Monday, the oceans will be the most significant of several upgrades to Google Earth."

"The replicated seas have detailed topography reflecting what is known about the abyss and continental shelves - and rougher areas where little is known."

"With only 5 percent of the ocean floor mapped in detail, and 1 percent of the oceans protected, Google executives and the marine scientists who helped build the digital oceans said they hoped the result would inspire the public to support more marine exploration and conservation."

Full Story: Google Earth Fills Its Watery Gaps

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