How to hold the entire ocean in your hands

Got global bathymetric data? Check? Got a 3D printer? Check. Then you can make yourself a model of the ocean that you can hold in your hand!

This graphic artist chose not to visualize the nooks and crannies on the sea floor, but the volume of water that makes up our oceans. As a kid I was addicted to my family’s copy of the National Geographic Atlas from the early 80’s.  Especially the maps of ocean bathymetry. In these maps,you could see all the wonderful bumps that populate the bottom of the ocean: seamounts, ridges, trenches, slopes, shelves, ledges, everything! You can see all these features, just flipped from the normal perspective which is so very, very cool.  I just need to get my hands on a 3D printer and make one now.

Visualising GEBCO: A new way of seeing the global oceans (2009) from Peter Morse on Vimeo.

Learn more about the GEneral Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO) here.

Kim Martini (89 Posts)

Kim is a Physical Oceanographer at the Joint Institute for the Study of Atmosphere and Ocean at the University of Washington. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 2010. Her goal in life is to throw expensive s**t in the ocean. When not at sea, she uses observations from moored, satellite and land-based instruments to understand the pathways that wind and tidal energy take from large (internal tides) to small scales (turbulence).





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