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Google
has revealed the first major upgrade for its I-can-see-my-car time
devourer Google Earth. Google Ocean, unsurprisingly, dives into the big
blue. 

Large chunks of the ocean floor are now available for
the programme’s users to view in full 3D. The map also includes 20
content layers, with information donated by the world’s leading
scientists and oceanographers.

Al Gore, who was present at the San Francisco unveiling of the product, called it a "magical experience."

"You
can not only zoom into whatever part of our planet’s surface you wish
to examine in closer detail, you can now dive into the world’s ocean
that covers almost three-quarters of the planet and discover new
wonders that had not been accessible in previous versions," he added in
a not-at-all plugging manner.

While 70% of the world’s
surface is covered in water, only 5% of the oceans have been explored.
Google Ocean’s aim is to let users explore particularly interesting
areas such as undersea volcanoes, while also running video clips on
marine life, shipwrecks and good diving spots.

"With [Google
Ocean], everybody can see the unbelievable beauty of our marine life
and how incredibly threatened it is," said Carl Gustaf Lundin, head of
the global marine programme at the International Union for the
Conservation of Nature (IUCN). "We hope this major technological
innovation will get the public more involved in marine conservation and
encourage governments and businesses to stop driving ocean species to
extinction."

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