In the first of a new regular series on cool ways to explore the planet that don’t involve being frisked by an overly-friendly airport security guard, Ed Chipperfield looks at an ocean holiday courtesy of Google…
Google Ocean is the online way to explore the undersea kingdom without getting your feet wet. It allows you to explore the oceans without wasting fuel and, according to Al Gore, it’s also the best way to understand the changes happening to our planet.
“With this latest version of Google Earth you can not only zoom into whatever part of our planet’s surface you wish to examine in closer detail, you can now dive into the world’s oceans that cover almost three-quarters of the planet and discover new wonders that had not been accessible in previous versions of this magical experience,” Gore said at the launch event in San Francisco.
“Moreover, with the new historical imagery feature, you can look back in time and see for yourself the unprecedented pace of change taking place on the Earth – largely because of human influences.”
Google Ocean allows you to explore under the waves anywhere in the world, from the convenience of your own computer. It’s an experience unlike any other, and far more interesting – not to mention greener – that the most lavish ocean cruise.
An add-on for the popular Google Earth, it’s completely free. It also features some amazing guided tours around the highlights of Davy Jones’ Locker in the Google Ocean Showcase. Narrated by Sylvia Earle, an ocean explorer for National Geographic, the tours take you through shipwreck sites, views of incredible aquatic animals, popular diving and surfing destinations and the latest research discoveries that are being made today – most importantly, in terms of the climate.
“In discussions about climate change, the world’s oceans are often overlooked despite being an integral part of the issue,” said Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google. “About one-third of the carbon dioxide that we emit into the atmosphere ends up in the oceans. Furthermore, biodiversity loss in our oceans in the next 20-30 years will be roughly equivalent to losing an entire Amazon rainforest, but this goes unnoticed because we can’t see it.”