Another look at the new Google Earth Ocean data

Last week we talked about a recent update to the Google Earth ocean floor data. As we mentioned in that post, the ocean floor data is a combination of data obtained from satellites and published by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego and higher resolution data gathered by ships. We came across this article that gives more detail on the data gathered by ships. The article says that Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory has been gathering the ship data and their data has been incorporated into the Google Earth map. From the article:

The Google ocean map, covering the entire ocean floor, relies mostly on data collected by satellite that is curated by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, in partnership with NOAA, the U.S. Navy and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, with contributions from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology and Australia Geosciences-AGSO. It also incorporates the more precise data from Lamont.”

There is also this YouTube video that highlights some of the areas in Google Earth that have received high resolution data.

Also mentioned in the article is this map called Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS) and we found that in many places it matches what can now be seen in Google Earth. However, we found some locations, such as the one below, for example, where the MGDS maps is noticeably higher resolution than the Google Earth ocean floor data but the parts we can see clearly come from the DGDS data set.


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Just off the coast of Portugal.

One of the locations mentioned in the article, Scott Reef, clearly shows the data has been imported into Google Earth but has lost some resolution.

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Some of the ocean floor data is obscured by satellite imagery.

About Timothy Whitehead

Timothy has been using Google Earth since 2004 when it was still called Keyhole before it was renamed Google Earth in 2005 and has been a huge fan ever since. He is a programmer working for Red Wing Aerobatx and lives in Cape Town, South Africa.



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