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Google Ocean - Google Maps, DOER Marine, National Geographic

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Google Ocean was an experiment in raising the intelligence of Google Earth users to the challenges facing our ocean environments and the work that was being done to address the damage. Its design called for geo-located stories in the ocean on Google Earth that were linked to television programs, research expeditions, feature films, video games and virtual environments.

Google Ocean began as the inspiration of Dr. Sylvia Earle, ocean explorer in residence at National Geographic, John Hanke, then the Director of Google Maps, and the Doer Marine submarine staff and my media production team.

By its launch in 2008,  the Google Ocean advisory board included experts at marine labs all around the world, leaders from the US Office of Naval Intelligence,, top scientists at oceanographic academic institutions and award winning oceanographic filmmakers and still photographers.

On this page are videos of the proposed Deep Search Submersible, a sample of the Google Ocean story interface, the SOS - Defenders of the Deep feature film and video game trailer, and the Global Waters virtual world demo reel.

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Deep Search Submersible Concept Trailer

The Ultimate Google Search Engine

DOER Marine makes submersibles. The holy grail of ocean exploration is to build a submersible capable of carrying out research missions with a crew of three in the deepest reaches of the ocean. The most famous of these is the Mariana Trench. It is officially at 11,030 meters deep. Any submersible going that deep has to withstand tremendous water pressure. The Deep Search vehicle was envisioned as such a submersible for the Google Ocean Project. The Ultimate Search Engine. The vehicles visual design and this video were created by Richard Taylor based on design specifications created by DOER Marine.

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Google Ocean Galapagos - Location Test

This video shows a test of the geo-locating design of Google Ocean. From planet to islands to information, the node is designed, however it is accessed, to stand on its own and be linked to other nodes that share some part of the story it tells. This test tells the story of the Galapagos Island chain narrated by Dr. Sylvia Earle

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SOS - Defenders of the Deep Concept Trailer

The Google Ocean project was designed to reach as many people as possible through a transmedia approach. SOS – Defenders of the Deep was developed as a film and game concept that would utilize the stories on the Google Ocean map to engage players in an immersive experience.


This video was a concept piece that was created to pitch the project to film and video game companies. The design, story and screenplay for SOS - Defenders of the Deep was created by David Riordan, Ken Melville and Richard Taylor. The video was directed by Richard Taylor.

Global Waters Virtual World Concept Trailer

In 2010, some early attempts to build virtual worlds were attempted by Japanese media companies. Global Waters was designed as a virtual underwater world of the future that used the Google Ocean and SOS – Defenders of the Deep concepts and branding.


This video was a concept piece that was created to show investors. The Global Waters virtual world was conceived by David Riordan, Ken Melville and Richard Taylor. This video was created by Richard Taylor and his digital graphics team.

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This Google Ocean Design document lays out the original transmedia strategy for the Google Ocean campaign as conceived by the Google Ocean team.

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