The lost city of Atlantis — rumored to be discovered in a Google Earth map — is once again lost, thanks to a maps update from the search giant.
A grid-like pattern on a Google Ocean — a Google Earth extension — map raised speculation in 2009 that Google had discovered the sunken streets of the legendary city. However, considering the science, that seems highly unlikely.
Overlapping data sets, which created the pattern many thought to be Atlantis, commonly occur in the sonar method oceanographers use to map the ocean floor. Scientists bounce sonar (sound) waves off the bottom of the ocean to measure its topography.
The pattern supposedly resembling Atlantis was located off the coast of north Africa and covered more than 100 miles — much larger than the scope of any ancient city.
The Google Ocean map was updated last week with data collected by research cruises conducted over the last three years by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, among other research institutions.
“The original version of Google Ocean was a newly developed prototype map that had high resolution but also contained thousands of blunders related to the original archived ship data,” said David Sandwell, a Scripps geophysicist, in a statement. “The Google map now matches the map used in the research community, which makes the Google Earth program much more useful as a tool for planning cruises to uncharted areas.”
Scripps says the next Google Ocean update will come later in 2012 and will provide depth calculations that are twice as accurate as the ones currently used.
Do you use Google Earth or Google Ocean? Have you found anything mysterious in your searches? Share your findings in the comments.
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We’re hoping this was for a kid’s birthday party… In fact, this scene and others were staged by Street with a View as a prank on Google.
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