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Google Ocean Showcase: Dive the deep at your desk

Google's new Ocean Showcase lets you explore the deep without getting your hair wet

Darling, it's better down where it's wetter, as a wise crab once said. Google has extended Google Maps and Google Earth to cover the 70 per cent of the planet where you need swimming trunks, with the stunning new Ocean Showcase.

Revealed in a post on Google's map-related blog, Ocean Showcase pulls together data and video from underwater explorers including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the US Navy. You can explore shipwrecks and underwater terrain right in your browser, recreating your favourite undersea documentaries like Jacques Cousteau's The Silent World, Sir David Attenborough's Blue Planet, and Finding Nemo.

From duelling narwhals to barnacle-encrusted U-boats, deep dive spots to gnarly surf breaks, Ocean Showcase allows you to search for areas of oceanographic interest and watch YouTube videos exploring those areas.

In other cartographic news, Google Earth has added a sobering layer of photographs taken in 1943, showing the devastating impact of World War II on 35 European towns and cities.

For more map goodness, find your way to our look at public transport networks or blast off with a trip to the Moon. Right, where's our snorkel?