Google the Oceans by Default with Google Earth
Google has made Ocean in Google Earth part of the default set of annotations for all Google Earth users to see, a little pre-Earth Day welcoming party.
Launched in February 2009, Ocean in Google Earth pairs 3D maps of the world's oceans with videos, photos and narrative from heavy-hitting scientists and media sources.
Google worked with more than 100 partners and added hundreds of placemarks in more than 20 ocean layers to fill in the previously uncharted by Google "blue" part of the planet.
Users can peek at the Mariana Trench, or read or watch videos from any of the hundreds of new posts annotated to the Ocean layer, courtesy of Sylvia Earle's Mission Blue Foundation and such content providers as National Geographic, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and international organizations such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
This screen highlights a Mission Blue voyage to to the Galapagos Islands to brainstorm how they might best achieve better ocean protection:
There is also a narrated tour featured in the Ocean Showcase displaying eight of the so-called "Hope Spots," or regions proposed for protection:
These include the Eastern Pacific Seascape including the Galapagos Islands, the Gulf of California, the Mesoamerican Reef in the Caribbean including Belize, the Sargasso Sea in the mid-Atlantic, the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, the Coral Triangle, the Ross Sea in the Antarctic and Gakkel Ridge in the Arctic.
Google continues to organize the world's information online, and in this particular case you can see the company's liberal, conservationist politics shining through.
The only thing missing are placemarks depicting oceanic zones most affected by global warming. We'd call these "Hot Spots" instead of "Hope Spots."