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Plan Sea Plays Role in Launch of 'Ocean in Google Earth' Web Site

DATE: 10 am, February 2, 2009 HST
CONTACT: Ray Hollowell 808-384-4447

San Francisco, CA - Plan Sea of Honolulu, Hawaii, a production team of professional ocean adventure producers, videographers, photographers, editors, composers and production technicians, were the first contributors recruited to assist in the creation of "Ocean in Google Earth," a new Web-based interface that allows users to dive into the ocean and view extraordinary geo-referenced content on the web. Three of the Hawaii contributors were in San Francisco on Monday February 2nd at Google's launch of their new ocean content.

The team of contributors was led by Plan Sea Entertainment's CEO, ocean adventure cameraman and producer, Ray Hollowell, who was the first to load contributed content with his "Monk Seals Lounge on Waikiki Beach" featuring two monk seals introduced by "spokesgirls" Lena and Ela Ohlson, ages 15 and 13 of Encinitas, California. The music of Nashville-based children's music composer Brent Holmes is featured in that post.

The second ocean post also came from Plan Sea Entertainment. "Dolphins Cruise to Sleep" features wild spinner dolphins in the waters off Makua Valley in their sleep behavior. Other posts featured stand-up paddle surfing in giant surf off Makaha Beach, outrigger canoe competitions, sea turtle rescues and many more. A complete list of their Google Earth posts can be found at the company web site www.plansea.com. Plan Sea also collaborated with Carey Moreshige of NOAA's Marine Debris program and Beth Ann Kozlovich, of Hawaii Public Radio,on content dealing with marine debris in Hawaii.

The idea for this innovative research tool was conceived by Dr. Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and chair of the Harte Research Institute for the Gulf of Mexico (HRI) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Earle is chair of the Google Ocean advisory committee, a group of leading U.S. marine scientists and oceanographers. Several individuals with ties to Hawaii worked with Earle on the project, led by Charlotte Vick, coordinator of the Google oceans project. Hawaii was chosen as one of a dozen focus areas around the world for the launch of this new initiative and many Hawaii residents contributed in secret over the last few months to this inaugural effort by Google. The new site features many layers.

"This new tool will allow people around the world access to an extraordinary array of tools to explore the ocean from their computers in a new and exciting format," said Hollowell. "The new Google Web Explore the Ocean Layer that we worked with is found by cruising Google Earth for place marks that can be opened to reveal pictures, video, descriptive stories and links to more information tailored to that particular story from all parts of the web."

"Using this new and unique tool, people who love and care about the ocean and its health can share their experiences and knowledge with the world," commented Stefanie Brendl of Hawaii Shark Allies, another participant. "When I was invited to become involved with this project, I had a wonderful meeting with Sylvia to talk about the importance of sharks to the health of the reef, and the plight of sharks and species in decline around the world."

"For the first time, the detailed geography of the ocean floor is shown, revealing intricate canyons and plateaus that lie beneath the surface," said Chuck Harvey, another Plan Sea contributor attending the launch. The Google debut features more than 800 stories on the exploration layer alone. Hawaii has 76 of these stories in the current release of Google Earth (Ocean).

"This is an amazing tool," Hollowell said. "When you open the new Google Earth, you'll see links across the ocean. Now explorers and scientists can share the exact location of discoveries, putting video and photographs in context. It gives everyone a way to explore the world's oceans."

"More than 70 percent of Earth's surface is covered by water, but we have better maps of the Moon and Mars than we do of most of the sea floor," said Steve Craven, a Plan Sea contributing writer and local business consultant. "By recognizing the dominant blue of the planet and allowing the ocean to take its rightful place in Google Earth, Google has opened the door to a new era of communication. As with all new Web tools, it is hard to predict how it will develop next, but this opens a great opportunity for a new interactive way of learning and sharing; one that will reach across generations in ways that make it more relevant and immediate."

Ray at the Google Earth's Ocean press release

Ray at the Google Earth's Ocean press release



Plan Sea joins the prestigious GOOGLE OCEAN PARTNER list.

Plan Sea joins the prestigious GOOGLE OCEAN PARTNER list.



Jimmy Buffet and Dr Sylvia Earle

Jimmy Buffet and Dr. Sylvia Earle



Former Vice President Al Gore speaking at the GOOGLE OCEAN press release

Former Vice President Al Gore speaking at the GOOGLE OCEAN press release



Dr. Sylvia Earle, Paul Cater Deaton, Charlotte Vick, Ray Hollowell at the Dolphin Club celebration

Dr. Sylvia Earle, Paul Cater Deaton, Charlotte Vick, Ray Hollowell at the Dolphin Club celebration



Jenifer Austin, Google Ocean Program Manager and Charlotte Vick Google Ocean Content Editor

Jenifer Austin, Google Ocean Program Manager and Charlotte Vick Google Ocean Content Editor


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