Google Ocean?

posted by / News / February 2, 2009

There’s no doubt Google Earth has revolutionized surf travel. For proof, all you need to see are the results from this year’s Google Earth Challenge and the 20-plus-second tubes of Skeleton Bay to realize that every one of us is a Martin Daly in the making.

But sometimes, while you’re scouring the planet on your laptop for the next Skeleton Bay or J-Bay (depending on your stance), you come across a zone with tons of potential but not enough info. Could be good, but how much swell gets in here? What about the winds? And, more importantly, what’s the bottom like?

Enter the newest application that’s certain to bolster Google’s world domination. At an event today at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, Google will be unveiling the much anticipated “Google Ocean,” a program said to eventually document the entire ocean floor.

Of course, it’s not a boon for surfers. Divers, fishermen, scientists and environmentalists are all rallying behind the project for not only selfish reasons, but for its ocean-saving potential through awareness campaigns. In fact, Mr. Global Warming himself, Al Gore, will be on hand to show how we’re all connected to Google Ocean. As the Guardian noted, “The public’s ability to ‘interact’ with the oceans and gain better understanding, as well as see the evidence of global warming, could have quite an impact on perceptions.”

While Google has been keeping the key details of this unveiling close to its vest, we’re anticipating something special. There’s even talk of linking it to their “other” new program called “EarthSurfer,” which combines Google Earth with Nintendo’s Wii {{{Fit}}} and creates and exercise game that allows you to ride the world on a board.

Of course, Google Ocean alone has all kinds of benefits to us. Never before seen reef setups invisible to the Google Earth satellite photos. A better understanding of waves and why they do what they do. And another tome of knowledge about the thing that brings us so much joy.

It’s a powerful tool. Let’s make sure we use it wisely.

[Stay tuned to SurfingMagazine.com for more details after today’s unveiling.]

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