Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Tracking Ocean Currents with Google Maps

Do you want to know where your message in a bottle will turn up or track down the path of local floating pollution? Adrift is a Google Map that can show you how all kinds of objects drift on ocean currents.

The map uses data from observed tracks revealed by buoys in the Global Drifter Program and from other scientific research into ocean currents to predict where an object(s) will end up. Just place your rubber duck anywhere on the map (in the ocean obviously) and the map will animate where your duck is likely to end up.

Despite the whimsical use of the rubber duck this map has a very serious purpose. Plastic litter is one of the biggest problems in the oceans and the map provides a great visualization of how this litter can spread through the oceans and harm sea-life.

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