It’s a day late for World Oceans Day, but it’s certainly not too late to celebrate. For one thing, Google only just released their lineup of ocean exploration additions to Google Earth – the perfect way to commemorate the day. Google also celebrated in other outlets, including the Google a Day trivia game.
The Google Earth features allowing users to explore the ocean floors came as a collaborative project with Columbia’s Global Multi-Resolution Topography data. While the ocean floor is still fairly mysterious to us land-dwellers, the updated kmz files and improved layer features allow individual users to explore an immense amount of data: about half of all the currently mapped ocean floors. This includes underwater mountains, volcanoes, and other stunning landscapes. The total size of the mapped area exceeds the size of North America.
To get access to the most up-to-date seafloor images (including a lot of high-resolution imagery) download and add this kmz file. Additionally, users interested in taking more specific guided tours of the ocean floor can check out the Ridge 2000 kmz, which contains more than 20 educational posts (viewable in the “Explore the Ocean” layer of Google Earth).
Users can also quiz themselves on an Oceanic question in A Google a Day. The trivia question is brought to users by guest author David de Rothschild (ocean conservation activist and recognized explorer) and is part of Google’s guest writer series in A Google a Day (where one question each week will be written by a non-Googler). Let’s see if you can answer his trivia question:
In 2010, 12,500 bottles sailed more than 8,000 nautical miles in the Pacific Ocean. What color was the sail flying over the bottles when they arrived at their destination?
In any case, happy World Oceans Day, and don’t feel bad about celebrating along with me on June 9th. It’s just a day late and the oceans aren’t going anywhere (unless, of course, we really mess up the ozone layer).