Google Earth is a great tool for exploring our planet and beyond with the new Mars and Moon data. Yet, some of the most remote and inaccessible places aren't in space but right here on Earth in the depths of the oceans. Luckily, Google opened up those places too, enabling anyone to be an undersea explorer. Floating around scanning the sea floor isn't nearly as exciting as you might think, until now that is, as Google has just released Ocean Showcase, a web site dedicated to the wonders of the sea.
"With the launch of our new Ocean Showcase, you can now tour the ocean from the comfort of your web browser using the Google Earth plugin," Jenifer Austin Foulkes, product manager at Google wrote. "Over the past year, many photographers, naturalists, government groups and non-profit partners have added photos and videos to the Explore the Ocean layer in Google Earth, providing a great introduction to lots of ocean features. Enthusiasts continue to add photos and ratings to Wannadive.net and Wannasurf.com, improving the Ocean Sports layers. Anyone can be a desktop Cousteau," she concludes.
The number of people and organizations contributing data for the Ocean layer in Google Earth means that there is now quite a lot to see and explore. So Google decided to highlight some of most interesting content with a new website and a dedicated layer in Google Earth. It's essentially a curated tour of the ocean floor, put together with the help of some well-known scientific organizations, or in the case of the more 'sporty' info about surf and diving sites, from well-known websites dedicated to the phenomenons.
You can check out the narrated tours on the Ocean Showcase site. That is, unless you're on Linux, in which case you're out of luck because, as we all know, Google Earth hates Linux. OK, so maybe it doesn't necessarily hate it, but it sure looks that way as not only there isn't a Linux Google Earth plugin, for some reason it decides to make that known in German despite the fact that neither the browser's or Kubuntu's locale, language or location are set to anything even remotely close to that. Thankfully, you can download the .kmz files if you're having problems with the plugin, or want the power of the full-blown Google Earth.