Scientific Ocean Drilling Database in Google Earth

Borehole map in Google EarthThe Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) is an international scientific research program dedicated to advancing scientific understanding of the Earth by monitoring and sampling subseafloor environments. Through multiple ocean going ship platforms, IODP scientists explore the deep biosphere, environmental change, geodynamics and solid earth cycles. They have created an excellent Google Earth visualization showing the location of drilling of scientific boreholes in oceans all over the world (info here). Each placemark is color-coded according to the different programs, and the placemark descriptions basic metadata about each borehole, links to database information on their servers, and links to scientific publications related to the respective project. This is an excellent example of sharing scientific data in a meaningful way using the power of Google Earth’s visualization capabilities, ability to link back to databases for further information, and the network link to keep information up to date. Apparently this is their second version of this file, I don’t believe I saw the first version. via Dulce’s Spanish GE Blog.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. As a little aside, in good humo(u)r.
    For whatever reason, looking at the screen-shot you provided, the image of a Google Earth caption coming up from one of bore-holes, with the simple expression “Oops.” popped into my head.
    And then I envisioned the next frame, the Earth suddenly sputtering back and forth through the solar system as the air all leaked out.
    Ahh, sometimes I slay me. :p

Leave a Reply