05 February 2009

Google Ocean features Pulau Hantu, Labrador and Buloh

The first Singapore-related content with the Ocean tool have been created for Pulau Hantu, Labrador Park and the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. Full media articles on wildsingapore news.It took me a while to get the new Google Ocean downloaded (don't ask) but here's what's displayed for Singapore. A company has gotten in the act on diving at Pulau Hantu. You can add photos, comments, divers, dive logs, dive trips. Currently zero entries for all.

For Labrador, how nice that they've picked up the photos I uploaded to Google Earth a long time ago. The process for doing so in the past was laborious and required moderator approval. Not sure how it works now, I'm too tired to try it out tonight. But I'm glad they included the photo I uploaded about the dredging off our only reefs associated with a Nature Reserve.

For Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, there also lots of room to add photos and stuff.

For the Southern Islands, a bit of a confusing entry.Seems the errors in the World Database on Protected Areas which I blogged about earlier, are still there. The Marine Nature Area designated around the Sisters Islands have been ambiguously placed in the middle of nowhere.In fact the location of Labrador is wrong too (placed in the middle of Pasir Panjang container terminal). This error already occurred in Google's marine protected areas layer which I blogged about earlier. I'll try once again to send a message to get these corrected. Sigh.Anyway, the lovely closeup of the area around Labrador and Sentosa's natural shore shows the sediment plume nearby, probably due to the dredging and coastal works for the Pasir Panjang Container Port extension which has been going on for years now.

Some comments on Google Ocean for Singapore from the media:
Although there is limited content at the moment on display, the resources are expected to grow richer as users add and share their own content in the form of photographs, videos and articles.

Marketing manager of Google Southeast Asia, Derek Callow, said: "There's a wealth of data from user-generated content. We're a region that's got a lot of coastlines, a lot of learning opportunities and tourist spots, but also some real environmental challenges."

And the environmental challenges include pollution and endangered marine life.

Executive director of the Singapore Environment Council, Howard Shaw, said: "There is a lack of information in this region and the region we call the Coral Triangle, which contains the richest biodiversity of anywhere in the planet, exceeding that of the South American Amazon rainforests even."

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