To celebrate the third anniversary of an "explorable ocean seafloor" in Google Earth. Google today released a major update to its global underwater terrain dataset, called "bathymetry," that covers ocean topography from all over the globe and reveals most accurate view of the seafloor to date.
"This new detail comes from spacecraft measurements of bumps and dips in the ocean surface as well as shipboard soundings from surveys carried out by over 40 countries. With this update to ocean terrain data in Google Earth, 15 percent of the seafloor is now available at 1 km resolution," informed Jamie Adams, Ocean Team.
"'Bathymetry' comes from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, in partnership with NOAA, the US Navy, NGA, and GEBCO (with major contributions from JAMSTEC, IFREMER and IBCAO).
Adams notes, "Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD have curated 30 years of data from more than 8,000 ship cruises and 135 different institutions to make this update possible."
Here are a couple of examples where you'll notice an improvement:
In the ocean terrain data is the Mediterranean Sea, particularly south of Cyprus, where the boundary between the Eurasian and Arabian plates is now more clearly defined:
The Mediterranean Sea: before (left) and after (right) (Click on image to enlarge):
And, second is the land-sea mask along the coastline of Guam. You'll notice a dramatic improvement in the resolution of both the coastline and neighboring Mariana's Trench, the deepest trench in the world.
Guam and Mariana's Trench before (left) and after (right) (Click on image to enlarge):
For a more closer look at these changes, watch the video embedded below of this new terrain: