Introducing Our First Sailing Partner: Google

Picture of our sailing catamaran TahinaDuring the past month I announced my grand plan for a five year sailing adventure around the world which will begin next year. My wife Karen and I have already purchased a boat called “Tahina“, delivered it from the Bahamas, and are now working on a huge list of preparations. A big part of the plan is to share the experience with people through a “geo-documentary”.

My vision is that we will use a combination of a blog, and extensive geo-spatially organized content to share where we go, provide information about our travel locations, and show the sights we see. You will be able to follow our paths on the sea, on land, and possibly even under water all from within Google Earth (and with Google Maps, the Google Earth plugin, and other tools – maybe Google Ocean?). Not only that, but I will be taking aerial photography of some of the destinations using a combination of kite aerial photography, remote controlled aircraft, and by flying regular planes. I figured the resulting high resolution aerial photography would make for some very interesting views in Google Earth of exotic or unusual locations around the world. Places where few high resolution aerial photos are available. My inspiration for this idea was the excellent work by Michael Fay in the MegaFlyover images already in Google Earth for National Geographic.

When I started envisioning the creation of all this content, I naturally was thinking it would be more useful if a larger audience could see the content. So, I approached Google and told them about my circumnavigation plans. The Google geo team has enthusiastically embraced the idea and we have an arrangement where they will be acquiring content from our trip for use in their products. Teaming with Google for our circumnavigation is the realization of a dream which started three years ago when I first started using Google Earth to document our sailing trip back in 2002-2003. It was during that first trip that my wife and I began our plans for the circumnavigation. But, leveraging Google Earth to share our experiences became an integral part of what I wanted to accomplish. We also have plans to help raise awareness about issues facing the world’s ocean environment and marine life. All of this is more feasible thanks to the help we will be getting from Google.

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2 Responses to Introducing Our First Sailing Partner: Google

  1. Noel Jenkins says:

    Hi Frank.
    Delighted to read the Tahina site, and have subscribed to the RSS feed. Have you / how are you thinking to exploit the education potential of the expedition?

  2. Frank Taylor says:

    @Noel: You bet! I’m definitely hoping to offer some educational opportunities along the way both through posts on topics of interest, but also through special projects like allowing a class to control the robot ROV over the Internet.

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