Since Google Earth launched in 2006 millions of people have used its virtual globe to "travel" around the planet without leaving home, climbing a digital version of Mount Everest and even flying into space thanks to the program.
Now the internet company plans to take on one of the last bastions of the unknown: the depths of the ocean.
At a high-profile event in San Francisco, Google is expected to announce the addition of vast amounts of underwater imagery and seabed maps to the Google Earth project.
The existing site, to which an estimated 400 million people have had access, already includes three-dimensional representations of large cities around the world and includes images from street-level and aerial photography covering thousands of miles across Britain and elsewhere.
The new additions to the program are expected to include views of the ocean, and portions of the seabed. They will also provide detailed environmental data that will enhance information about the effect of climate change on the world`s seas and oceans.
BDST: 2145 HRS, 26 August 2010