The voyage of the Titanic in Google Earth

This weekend marks the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s collision and subsequent sinking in the North Atlantic Ocean. Today we’ll take a look at the journey that led to the iceberg, and tomorrow we’ll explore ways to view the ship as she sits today at the bottom of the ocean.
GPSed.com has a great track of the voyage of the ship. You can view it on their site or download this KML file to see it in Google Earth.

titanic-journey.jpg

3D Warehouse users ‘DannyDijk’ built a nice 3D model of the ship while it was beginning to sink. The elevation seems a bit off (the ship is floating in air), but the model is very well-done and is worth checking out. You can view it in Google Earth by using this KML file.
titanic-3d-above.jpg

The best model I’ve seen is likely from user ‘fsmdf’. His model is only available for download to SketchUp and can’t be viewed directly in Google Earth, but he created a video to show how it was created and it’s nothing short of amazing.

At the end of the voyage, of course, the ship broke into two pieces and sank. James Cameron went to great lengths to portray the sinking the ship as accurately as possible in the 1997 Titanic film, but has since discovered some errors. While he is not going to correct them in the 3D remake of the movie, he’s released a revised CGI animation that is thought to be the most accurate rendering of how the ship went down.

There are two major differences in the new rendering from the original movie. The first is the angle of the ship when it breaks. It’s now thought to have been just 23 degrees, but was shown at a considerably higher angle in the movie. The other change is the way the bow of the ship sank; in the movie, it stands straight up and holds for a few seconds, then begins to sink. The new rendering is similar to that, though it doesn’t quite go vertical and certainly doesn’t hold in that position. All in all, it’s a very interesting way to view the sinking of the ship.

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.



Comments

  1. For what it’s worth (and because it fits right in here), be advised that the Google-provided standard model of the Titanic wreck that that you see when you have 3D models turned on is grossly inaccurate. The placing isn’t particularly correct, the two parts are mixed up and facing the wrong way, and they didn’t even have a clue how to label them properly. (Google calls one part “aft” and the other part “stern” – aft and stern are obviously the same thing, so it should either be forward and aft or bow and stern.)

  2. Isn’t this all too much morbid fascination? The ship was conceived and sailed with breathtaking arrogance considering its major design faults, which is perhaps where the lessons lie for this technological age …. Costa Concordia comes to mind.

  3. TITANIC’S MAIDEN VOYAGE. The Titanic was finally ready for her departure on April 10 1912.

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