Mission Blue: filling in the blanks…

Anyone familiar with the Google Earth application would be aware about ‘Ocean in Google Earth’, launched by Google in 2009. This new launch allowed users to access and view the oceans of the planet in 3D, through maps, in addition to photographic and video documentation accompanied by authoritative comments and narratives by top-scientists and experts in the field of oceanographic studies. The way this works is, Google, in partnership with many institutes and organizations, posting placemarks in over twenty layers of ocean.

Recently, the ‘Mission Blue Foundation’ set up by Sylvia Earle, along with several committed individuals agreed to help better Google Earth’s ocean experience. They intend to do this by sourcing posts from institutions and organizations like the NOAA, which is the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN, from independent divers, and even National Geographic.

Finally, in April 2010, users of Google Earth will finally be able to see all these annotations as default. The oceans of the planet are vast expanses, it’s true, and it will take be a long while before all of it can be properly mapped as part of the Google Earth application, but the Mission Blue Foundation’s help is a great step forward. Imagine being able to see areas of oceans across the world that one might never actually get to visit either for lack of funds or that it’s just not possible to venture out there. Soon, Google Earth in will have made that possible.

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