Ocean Biogeographic Maps in Google Earth

OBIS Seamap in Google EarthMarine scientists have formed a data repository for information about marine life around the world called OBIS (Ocean Biogeographic Information System). In order to help people better visualize the data, scientists from Duke University have created the OBIS SeaMap which lets you visualize the geospatial marine life data on maps – including Google Earth. It lets you explore the interactive online archives for marine mammals, sea turtles and seabirds data.
Visit the SeaMap site and you can either start by viewing species on the main map page, or you can select a dataset or species. Don’t worry, they recognize both common names as well as scientific names for each specie. For Google Earth they provide a link for mapping all the species in one file – you can open folders and turn on the different categories within GE. Or you can go to a specific specie and map their common habitat areas. For example, go to the species map, and enter “Blue Whale”, then select the Google Earth link. Once the link loads in GE, you can zoom to different parts of the Earth and it will then load the data from their server showing the density of population of habitat for that view.
This is the kind of data I hope will be available when/if Google Ocean becomes available. Maybe this data was developed with that plan in mind.
Collection spotted via AnyGeo

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. Uhh, Google already has a project codenamed Project Ocean – its for their ambitious scan every book and provide it online…so would have been good to mention that!

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