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
Plan Sea joins the prestigious GOOGLE OCEAN PARTNER list.
Jimmy Buffet and Dr. Sylvia Earle
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
Jenifer Austin, Google Ocean Program Manager and Charlotte Vick Google Ocean Content Editor