Rowing Around the World with Google Earth

Oliver Hicks track in Google EarthGoogle posted yesterday about a guy who is attempting to be the first to row around the world. Oliver Hicks has left his home country of Australia and will be headed down toward Antarctica and attempt his circumnavigation the short, but very hostile, route. His attempt is sponsored prominently by Virgin, and Google is involved because Olly will be using Google products. He is connected to the Internet and able to share his experiences along the way. You can follow his track in Google Earth (a GPS track shows his route, you’ll notice he doesn’t always go forwards since he can’t always overcome currents and winds). It’s certainly an admirable goal, and I hope he succeeds.
I am especially interested in Olly’s adventure since later this year, my wife and I are also embarking on a circumnavigation. Our attempt will be in a much more comfortable mode of transportation – by sailboat. We plan to make heavy use of Google products as well, and, not surprisingly, in particular Google Earth. We plan to show how to leverage Google Earth to plan our trip, and document our adventures in a unique fashion. And we hope to help raise awareness of some of the issues facing our oceans and sea life. We will not only have GPS tracks, but also a wide range of photography and placemarks documenting our planned five year journey. Google will also be involved in our trip by making use of the Google Earth content we will create. It’s cool to see Google is such a big supporter of ocean-going adventures, especially after announcing Google Earth 5’s new ocean-oriented content.
Picture of our sailing catamaran Tahina

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. I don’t know when this happend, but i only just noticed it: There has been a huge update in the number of villages, towns and housing estates that know come up in Ireland! In one area, there used to be only 4, now there is over 20!

  2. Check also, a new web & mobile social mapping for boaters where you can upload or draw your tracks as well as geotag your photos. It is on Google Maps and you can export your trip to Google Earth.

  3. Hope your journey by sail boat went well. I didn’t hear how the guy in the row boat went but I hope he was OK.

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