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Age of Avatars
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Making Waves
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Scripps and Google Earth
Revenge is Sweet
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Features May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2
   

Scripps and Google Earth

 
     

Is that Atlantis? According to Popular Science’s website, Popsci.com, a bunch of 3D geeks created a buzz over a strange-looking pattern that showed up on Google’s newly launched “Oceans in Google Earth” off the coast of Africa. The bets are on that it’s not Atlantis, but the new Google site does showcase seafloor imagery data from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, collected during a two-and-a-half year research voyage aboard Scripps’ R/V Melville. The research expedition took scientists across 10 countries and 17 ports and featured a broad range of science, from undersea volcanoes to studies of Earth’s magnetic field. Scripps researcher David Sandwell and his National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admin­istration (NOAA) colleague, Walter Smith, led an effort to supply the global bathymetry data for the three-dimensional backdrop required for Google Earth users to explore the ocean world. It was not surprising then that Popsci.com asked for his comments on the Atlantis flurry. According to the article, he concluded they were actually “ship tracks” created during the process of echosounding.

Atlantis or not, Oceans in Google Earth is worth the visit.

Contributors to Making Waves: Jesse Alm '11, Tiffany Fox, Raymond Hardie, Daniel Kane, Andrea Siedsma

RELATED LINKS

Popular Science

About Atlantis

R/V Melville

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Google Earth