Google give “checking the surf” new meaning

While catching up with posts on Mashable, a popular social networking and general web innovation blog, I came across an interesting article discussing Google Earth. The digital earth clone (created using satelitte imagery) has announced a move to include underwater feeds in their unique mapping architecture. My first thought, when reading this article, was; “what an awesome way to check the surf”. It then occured to me that these are still images, and the lightbulb quickly defused.

In order to gather this underwater imagery, Google are said to be developing partnerships with companies in the nature and wildlife filming and photography industries. Unlike their image gathering methods used for Google Street View and the above-land Google Earth images, this move to the underwater environment opens a whole new area of exploration for the iconic web company. As the majority of the globe is covered in water, this task is no easy one either.

As mentioned on Mashable, a way of monetizing this data would be to license it out to other commercial applications. However, Google have yet to charge for data. On the topic of money making opportunities using Google Earth’s new underwater imagery, with the wealth of water and underwater locations in the world, is it not an opportunity for users and/or companies in more remote areas (or even in areas where Google may or may not have image capturing partners) to capture imagery and submit it to Google for a fee of some kind?

However the imagery is gathered, I believe this underwater progression to be an invaluable step forward for Google, that could in turn benefit environmental and natural researchers and studies that are being undertaken to improve our environment and the nurturing of the globe. There are other websites that allow you to check the surf report. 😉

For more information on Google Earth’s new underwater exploration data, view the video below, courtesy of Google’s Youtube channel.

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