Google To Map the Oceans

In Michael Jones’ keynote today at SPAR 2013 it was obvious why Google Maps has changed the world – leadership. Michael is an original thinker. There aren’t very many of these people in the world. I am glad he is interested in geography and 3D.

Michael revealed that Google has plans to map the 70% of the world that is covered by water. In fact he offered $1 billion dollars to anyone who could provide him with an underwater laser scanner to accomplish this.

He also demonstrated the use of photography to produce incredibly detailed imagery of St. Paul’s cathedral and sub centimeter resolution of an urban area by using a balloon tethered to a person.

Let’s just say that Michael’s vision and understanding of how to measure the world is different that anyone I have ever come across. One can only imagine where Google is going to take this.

Heinz Ruther provided an impressive recap of the work that he is doing with the Zamani project as he seeks to create an African cultural heritage and landscape database. He is looking for supporters to fund this important effort.

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One Response to Google To Map the Oceans

  1. Tom Laux says:

    I wasn’t at the keynote where Mr. Jones committed the $1B but would have enjoyed hearing that in person. It would be interesting to hear what his requisite operating capture parameters are for the ‘through water’ 3D sensor to image the oceans. Imaging up to 40m has been demonstrated using LIDAR (assuming 532nm 3D Flash LIDAR focal plane) but if the requirement is imaging through 3000m of water, LIDAR may not be the answer. If, on the other hand, Google are willing to “drive” the oceans with a submerged vehicle to capture the data, then perhaps there is a chance… interesting topic non-the-less.

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