How to Use Google Earth Ocean View

By Angie Matthias

Expand your horizons with Google Earth---Ocean View
i ocean image by avtosak from

Google continually drives innovation in web searching by offering updated products. Google Earth is an example of this ongoing effort. Housing an array of different accessories, this virtual mapping system continually conquers new frontiers by method of additional search options. As an added bonus, the basic version is free.

In 2009, with the inception of Google Earth version 5.0, a host of fresh capabilities were rolled out. Ocean view was one of these options, and among the most captivating. Now users have the luxury of casually stopping by some of our Earth's most fascinating ocean locations, both above and below the waves.

Navigate to the Google Earth product website. Verify your computer meets the minimum system requirements. A list is available by clicking "Help" then "System Requirements." Install Google Earth version 5 by clicking "Download Google Earth 5." The installation wizard will guide you through the steps and prompt you to save and run the program. Once installed, the Google Earth icon will appear on your desktop.

Click into Google Earth 5.0 and go into "View" on your toolbar. Make sure that the option "Water Surface" has a check mark next to it. Also, your options under the "Tools" menu should be set up to view terrain.

Locate an area of the ocean you wish to explore on the Earth map. Using the zoom and navigation controls in the top right corner of your screen, focus in on that area.

You can navigate to different areas of your screen either by using your mouse to grab and move to different areas of the map, or by using the arrows on the circular dial with the hand icon. Zoom in or out by clicking on the plus and minus signs on the Google Earth zoom bar. Once zoomed in on a particular area, you can use the circular dial with the eye icon to look around from a stationary point.

You may use the navigation tools to stay at the surface or move underwater by adjusting your tilt and zooming in and out. Tilting to a different angle can be accomplished by pressing the "Control" key on your keyboard and then clicking the left mouse button. Once the crossbar appears you can drag up or down to adjust tilt.

Investigate further features by locating the "Layers" panel in the bottom left corner of the screen. On this menu, find and check the box corresponding to the "Ocean" option. This will highlight all of the sub-options for ocean exploration and bring up corresponding icons on your global map.

Designate the specific things you would like to see or search by maximizing the sub-menu under "Ocean" in the "Layers" menu. For example, if you only want to see shipwreck sites on your map, make sure there is only a check mark by "Shipwrecks" under your "Layers" menu. Play around with the options---by adding and removing check marks in different boxes under the "Ocean" sub-menu---to isolate different features and find the ones you like best.