With the launch of our new Ocean Showcase, you can now tour the ocean from the comfort of your web browser using the Google Earth plugin.

Follow along as National Geographic explorer, Sylvia Earle, narrates a tour through highlights of the Explore the Ocean layer in Google Earth. You can pause the tour at any time to watch videos of the surrounding areas and marine animals, like the humpback whales below.

Take a ride with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), as their Western Flyer research ship works off the U.S. west coast. View the discoveries they've made, like the transparent-headed barreleye fish.

Visit some exciting shipwrecks like the World War II USS Truxton Destroyer, and see divers explore the shipwrecks with video from Eco-Nova's Shipwreck Central.

Take a narrated tour of some of the world's best dive sites with Wannadive.net and the best surf sites with Wannasurf.com.

In addition, you can see some of the highest resolution data available of the ocean with the Underwater Terrain tour. And finally, let NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, GLERL, take you on a tour of the Great Lakes with a special feature on Lake Superior.

Over the past year, many photographers, naturalists, government groups and non-profit partners have added photos and videos to the Explore the Ocean layer in Google Earth, providing a great introduction to lots of ocean features. Enthusiasts continue to add photos and ratings to Wannadive.net and Wannasurf.com, improving the Ocean Sports layers.

Anyone can be a desktop Cousteau. And we welcome more contributions. Go here to tell us about your ocean data.

To take the plunge, download any tour and open it in Google Earth, where you can explore many more exciting ocean photos and videos by checking the Ocean folder in the left-hand layers panel.