Google Earth can now provide a detailed 3D view of features both above and below water, as this view of part of Hawaii shows (Image: Google)
The tool will allow users to fly beyond the beach and, in place of the flat seabed image of previous versions, see a shimmering, semi-transparent sea. Dive beneath it and the oceanic mountain ranges, trenches and abyssal plains are there for all to see. To try all that for yourself, download the latest version of the Google Earth software.
Google's usual satellite imaging can't peer through deep water to map the seabed. Instead, sound is the tool of choice when mapping the ocean floor. Passing sonar arrays over every patch of ocean is beyond even Google's means, so it has had to rely on the US navy for much of the information. As a result, some "sensitive" areas are blank. Other navies and research institutions around the world also provided data, helping Google Earth's software engineers to stitch together a map with a resolution in the order of 500 to 1000 metres. In areas where a lot of research groups operate, such as Monterey Bay in California, the resolution is down to a couple of metres - better than most of the land maps in Google Earth.
Read more at - 'Google Ocean adds detail to the depths'