By Laura Shin
Posting in Cities
Go where no human has gone, to a place less well mapped than the moon: the ocean floor.
Most of us know what the surface of the moon looks like, but would be hard-pressed to conjure a ready image of the sea floor. Well, now you can explore it in greater detail than ever before on Google Earth.
In honor of World Oceans Day on June 8th, Google Earth and Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory teamed up to double the amount of ocean floor you can see from your computer. This means you can now explore the topography of an underwater area larger than North America.
But the ocean is so vast that this still represents only 5% of the entire sea floor.
Exploring the ocean floor this way, you can see volcanic ridges, lofty peaks, wide plains and deep valleys and known underwater wonders such as the Hudson Canyon off New York City, the Wini Seamount near Hawaii and the 10,000-foot-high Mendocino Ridge off the West Coast.
This new video by Google offers a tour.
The improved imagery compiles the sonar measurements from hundreds of scientific research cruises traveling three million miles over the past 20 years. The vessels came from institutions such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of Hawaii, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Navy, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and of course, Columbia.
While Google Earth had already featured some of the sea floor, this new project sharpens the resolution from 1 kilometer square to 100 meters square. Users can also select "ground level view" to get a closer look, as in this photo of the Kane Fracture Zone in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge:
If you're interested in even greater detail, you can download this plug-in, the Columbia Ocean Terrain Synthesis.
Jun 9, 2011
Exploring the ocean floors. Is better than exploring dead planets. Might be a good ideal, for NASA to spend money here on a life supporting Earth. Than on dead planets. I hope Google Earth don't reveal the locations, of America's secret sub locations. An accidentally fired cruise missile, can turn the headquarters of Google. Into a trash heap.
Two comments: ??? A 10 meter resolution would at least allow the interested consumer to track North Korean subs on their way to take out Los Angeles. ??? I want to know in the same detail as the atmospheric jet stream layers, where the strewn plastic wastes are going today. In other words, topographic maps are fine but since I do not plan to hike along the sea bed floor, I'd rather have the temperatures, salinity, waste product concentrations, and fish migrations, etc... plotted out.
Please don't bring up Julian Assange and wikileaks. How can anyone, be so intelligent, and yet be so stupid. If he had stuck his nose in Russia's business, he would have died, under mysterious circumstances.
In an open free society who will be in charge to decide what information to release to the public? Wars normally start because of the lack of public consensus by a country's leaders who do not release creditable/truthful information that could possibly avoid a war. Classified information can, and has been used to hide the truth/rationale to go to war. Trust but verify any leader's reason to go to war; 99% of wars would not be started if the truth was known in advance by the public who are normally sent to fight and die in the war,