New Sea Floor Map for Google Earth

In late 2014 we had a look at a map of the ocean floor published by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. Apparently that map was incorporated into the Google Earth ocean floor data just before the New Year. Read more about it here.

Note that what appears in Google Earth is a combination of the Scripps map and a variety of other sources, including sonar data gathered by ships. Google Earth does not have historical imagery for ocean data. We have noted before that the ‘historical imagery’ mode does show a different ocean floor map, but there is no easy way to find out what Google Earth showed a few months ago other than keeping screen shots. We don’t have many screen shots of the ocean floor, but [this post]((https://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2015/04/historical-imagery-ocean-floor.html) does have a screen shot taken in April 2015, so we can compare that with the current location in Google Earth today.

before
after

As far as we can tell, a number of undersea mountains have disappeared in the new data. We believe this represents errors in the older data that have been corrected.

We can also compare the current Google Earth data with the Scripps map as published here in KML format.

before
after

The Google Earth data (right) is clearly higher resolution than that version of the Scripps map (left).

The Scripps sea floor map has also been used to discover a new microplate in the Indian Ocean.

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.






PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.

Comments

  1. I have not been on google earth for years. Now its changed and not for the better. I used to be able to skim the ocean floor on my own and check things out. Now that’s not possible because you’ve clutter the page up with garbage. I don’t want to hear what someone is saying I want to do it myself. I am interested in the fault line in the Olympic peninsula waters between washington and canada. Now I cant check out on my own because you’ve taken that option away. I used to love google earth but now I thoroughly disappointed in your new, chatty, not free to wander the ocean floor version. To the Einstein who came up with this, wow, you just couldn’t leave things alone you had to garbage up the screen you idiot!!!!! SIMPLE IS BETTER. STOP PUTTING GARBAGE, ADS, JUNK ON THE SCREEN. WE JUST WANT TO SEE THE EARTH AND NOT YOUR INTERPRETATION OF IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Timothy Whitehead says:

      There are no adds in Google Earth. Could you give more detail about the clutter you are experiencing? Try turning off all the layers perhaps?

      • Mr Whitehead, I’m an avid fisherman and live on the coast of west central Florida. I would like the ability to look at the ocean floor, similar to zooming in on google earth. Why is it that anything west of a mile offshore is blurred out on google earth. Can I purchase a product from google that gives me access to clear images of the ocean floor?

        • Timothy Whitehead says:

          You can often see imagery further offshore when in ‘historical imagery’ mode. However, it is overhead imagery and not imagery of the ocean floor. As far as I know, there is no easy way to gather actual imagery of the ocean floor. The current data in Google Earth is depth data obtained from a number of sources, but is generally not high resolution.

  2. Rune Mikalsen says:

    How can I remove the stupid “seawave” layer that is cluttering the view when I want to study the ocean floor?

  3. Why did Google remove the Titanic from Google Earth for Android?

    • Timothy Whitehead says:

      The latest Google Earth for Android and the web based Google Earth were completely rewritten with a new 3D model and no longer have the old style 3D. They use the Google Maps database which doesn’t include the old models.



PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.