The Bulletin

The masses will map the sea

Posting in Technology
Ocean Tiago Fioreze Wiki.jpg
How far will you travel? Join the people's flotilla to help chart the seas.
The great composer and lyricist Irving Berlin asked, "How deep is the ocean?"

If you have a boat, you can help provide the answer.

In a floating crowdsourced project, an Oxford, England group called TeamSurv wants to give out devices to thousands of people who would install them on their vessels and chart water depths, the BBC reported. TeamSurv would collect and collate the data, publish it online and make it available to other organizations.

"Large parts of the seas around the U.K. have not had their depth measured for well over a century, back when the method of choice was to throw over some lead and make note of when it hit the bottom," the BBC noted.

The University of Nottingham's UK European Satellite Navigation Competition is funding the initiative as part of its mission to support startup companies that use satellite navigation.

Given the growing interest in private space ventures by entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson, maybe it also could help answer the next question that Berlin posed in his often covered 1932 classic: How high is the sky?

Photo is from Tiago Fioreze via Wikimedia

— By on February 24, 2014, 5:26 AM PST

Mark Halper

Contributing Editor

Mark Halper has written for TIME, Fortune, Financial Times, the UK's Independent on Sunday, Forbes, New York Times, Wired, Variety and The Guardian. He is based in Bristol, U.K. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure