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Google Earth dives into the deep blue with v 5.0

Taking a look at Google Earth yesterday, you might have thought the product offered a pretty comprehensive look at the planet. You could find your house, your neighbor's house, and, only recently, you could even see a satellite image of the Naval Observatory, home of the vice president.

But, to the oceanographically inclined, it was lacking.

With today's release of Google Earth 5.0, the search giant has added detailed imaging of the ocean floor.

The so-called bathymetric map allows you to "drop below the surface and explore the nooks and crannies of the seafloor in 3D," Google Earth Director John Hanke wrote in a [blog post](http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/02/dive-into-new-google-earth.html). "While you're there you can explore thousands of data points including videos and images of ocean life, details on the best surf spots, logs of real ocean expeditions and much more."

Until today's release, Google's images of the ocean had been limited to what Hanke described as blue patches with "low-resolution shading to suggest depth."

The update also adds a historical imagery tool, where certain areas of the map now have a clock feature, allowing you to recalibrate the image to see what a region looked like years or decades ago. Google points to its own backyard -- Silicon Valley -- blew up over the last 50 years.

Google has also rolled out a Touring tool with features aimed at simplifying the process of adding layers to annotate the information that appears alongside different regions.

Finally, through a partnership with NASA, Google is expanding its interstellar view with detailed imagery of Mars.

More details about the features are available at the [LatLong blog](http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/).

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