Google Earth is one truly amazing piece of software, and I am glad that I am alive to actually see it work – something our ancestors could not, having to settle for maps instead of turning on a computer to view other parts of the world from the comfort of their air-conditioned room. Well, there is no reason for Google to rest upon their laurels, which leads us to an improvement on their project by offering a new feature to users – allowing us to dive beneath the water surface to explore underwater terrain in 3D while browsing ocean-related content courtesy of leaders in ocean science and advocacy. Personally, I think the entire effect would be much more pronounced if Google included some sort of Trash-o-Meter to indicate which segments of the earth’s water are polluted so that more awareness can be raised among the current generation to prevent further degradation of our seven seas.
In addition, Google Earth 5.0 also boasts Historical Imagery, a feature while allows users to enter a so-called time warp, viewing through archival satellite and aerial imagery to compare what the earth looked like some time back compared to the present. Apart from going deep down into the oceans, you can also have some fun with Google Mars 3D, featuring high resolution images and terrain of the red planet. Plenty of the mentioned content contributed by experts in their field are shown via YouTube, and this is one smart way for Google to leverage their acquisition of YouTube a few years back, although it does look as though they are still trying to find means and ways to monetize it.
The ocean feature is already on by default, and users are able to go through 20 content layers including :-
- An “Explore the Ocean” layer containing photos and videos about ocean hot spots around the world contributed by over 80 individuals and organizations
- A National Geographic Magazine geo-quiz and overlays from their new Atlas of the Ocean
- Videos from the archives of Jacques Cousteau, featuring never-before-seen footage of historic ocean expeditions