Ah, the sea. The big blue. From sharks to shipwrecks, from the perfectly formed pipes of Hawaii's waves to the dark and chilly depths of the deepest sea trenches, it's one of Earth's most fascinating habitats - one that people love watching and exploring.
Tonight, Google is bringing Internet-bound ocean lovers a new portal to the amazing biological and topographical diversity that lies beneath the waves. If you're into underwater environments and you're down with Google Earth,we highly recommend checking out Ocean Showcase, Google's latest product release.
"Anyone can be a desktop Cousteau," writes Googler Jenifer Austin Foulkes. The Google Earth browser plugin allows users to browse through a selection of highlighted tours. Users of Google Earth 5 can go on to explore more, downloading tours and viewing photos and videos by checking the Ocean folder in the left-hand layers panel.
National Geographic ocean explorer Sylvia Earle narrates the highlights tour. The smattering of categories in the plugin-enabled tours include research discoveries, shipwrecks, dive spots, surf spots, underwater terrain and the Great Lakes. The tours are dotted with YouTube videos and more information from carefully curated websites.
Google's put together some entertaining and high-quality content that integrates different technologies, including Google Earth and YouTube. We also think that Ocean Showcase is going to be a huge hit in the classrooms, as it gives brief and educational content snippets in a visual, interactive context that kids can appreciate and learn from.
Let us know what you think of this product in the comments, and check out ReadWriteWeb's archive of Google Earth-related products and news.