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News Release 09-011

The National Science Foundation Contributes to Newest Version of "Google Earth"

"Google Earth" now incorporates Antarctic research funded by NSF

Photo of Ross Ice Shelf at Cape Crozier.

"Ocean in Google Earth" incorporates NSF-funded Antarctic research.

February 2, 2009

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

Google today released the newest version of "Google Earth," which contains a feature called "Ocean in Google Earth" that enables users to dive beneath the surface of the sea and explore the world's oceans. 

"Ocean in Google Earth" includes videos, photos, diagrams and texts that vividly illustrate glacial, geological and ocean processes influencing the behavior of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in Antarctica.

The material, which was provided by Stefan Vogel, a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded researcher from Northern Illinois University, summarizes the results of Vogel's own research and the research of other NSF-funded scientists who focus on subglacial environments, the evolution of the Antarctic ice sheet and interactions between this ice sheet and the Earth's ocean and climate system. Many other NSF-funded researchers besides Vogel also contributed to "Ocean in Google Earth."

NSF manages the U.S. Antarctic Program. Vogel's research is funded by NSF's Office of Polar Programs.

Google's announcement of the newest version of Google Earth is posted at Users may obtain more information, watch a video and download Google Earth at


Media Contacts
Lily Whiteman, National Science Foundation, (703) 292-8310, email:
Google Press Office, Google, (650) 930-3555, email:

Program Contacts
Thomas Wagner, National Science Foundation, (703) 292-4746, email:

Principal Investigators
Stefan Vogel, Northern Illinois University, (815) 753-7948, email:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2019, its budget is $8.1 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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