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Google maps the oceans

Search engine giant Google announced an update to its Google Earth software on Monday that allows users to explore the planet's vast oceans, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The update was brought about in 2006 after a marine scientist made a remark to a Google worker regarding the lack of an oceanic presence in the software.

Google calls its software a "powerful educational tool" and hopes that it will get people interested in marine exploration. Currently only 5% of the marine floor has been mapped. (Los Angeles Times)

“Electronic images can boost awareness and sometimes even inspire, but there’s no substitute for direct experience in nature,? said Cheryl Charles, the president of Children and Nature Network, speaking to the New York Times.

According to the New York Times the update also includes a feature called Historical Imagery, which enables users to go back in time and see how coasts and populated land has changed.

Also included in the update is a 3-D map of the planet Mars.