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GOOS, Global Ocean Observing System

The GOOS is a collection of ocean observing and information delivery systems providing near real time measurements of the state of the oceans. Temperature and salinity are measured from space, moored instruments, free floating buoys and profilers. Temperature and salinity are important to monitoring the effect of the oceans on weather, and are fundamental to allowing computer models to predict oceanic circulation patterns. Global climate change studies depend upon these measurments of the ocean's heat content.

OSTIA SST difference from Average Image of Earth

Water level is measured as part of a Tsunami early warning system. The water level data also can provide information on sea level changes due to climate change. GOOS is a system which will allow all of these data to be accessible to the public and researchers in common simple methods, such as the Google Ocean application.


The Global Ocean Observing System provides a wealth of products and services based upon the acquisition of near real time data from a multitude of sources. GOOS is a distributed system, with data stored, served and processed by numerous institutions and governments. GOOS seeks to leverage all these products off one another to create greater value, and less duplication. A good example of this cooperation is the Operational Sea Surface Temperature and Sea Ice Analysis, OSTIA, project. OSTIA uses satellite data provided by the Global High-Resolution Sea Surface Temperature, GHRSST project, together with in-situ observations to determine daily sea surface temperature. These data are being made available in a Google Earth format for easy display and exploration (Future Link to KML). SST NetCDF data format files are also available for research purposes OSTIA SST NetCDF. Another similar program, CORIOLIS, also produces sea surface temperature maps based on various GOOS data sources.

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Global Observing Systems Information Center, provides a comprehensive collection of web links and search tools which give access to the GOOS products and services created by its many member organizations. GOSIC also serves GOOS's sister observing systems, GTOS and GCOS, the Terrestrial and Climate observing systems.

GOSIC should be used as the jumping off point for any search of the GOOS data and products. GOSIC GOOS LINK

Sea Level Monitoring

The GLOSS programme is completing a network of sea level monitoring stations across the globe.  Data from the network may be interactively accessed from:  The Sea Level Data Facility or download a Google Earth KML file: sealevel_stations.kml

google_earth.jpgGoogle Earth Data Sources

Google Earth data sets have been made available by several of the GOOS programs. Most of these are presented as "KML" or "KMZ" files which are opened in Google Earth to give images of the data and often live links to further sources of data.

argokml_002.pngArgo data can be accessed from NOAA Global Argo Data Repository.The JCOMM-OPS updates Argo status data daily at JCOMM-OPS Argo KML . The OSTIA sea surface fields are made available through the Google Earth Core menus and directly from OSTIA Sea Surface Temperature. Many more data sets will be made available in Google earth formats in the near future. The GOSIC site will keep abreast of the data links and feature them at GOSIC KML data.


The JCOMM-OPS provides daily updated Status files for different instrument platforms in Google Earth. These give position and links to profile data for each platform.

Active floats : status.kmz
Inactive floats : inactive.kmz

All JCOMM Platforms, Floats
Buoys (moored / surface)
Ships ( ASAP, VOS, SOOP)
Marine Mammals (MEOP)
Tide Gauges (GLOSS) : jcommops.kmz


The SEPRISE project also prepares GoogleEarth files each month showing the Argo data collected in the past 30 days

Profiles : SE-LATEST-MONTH-STA.kmz
Surface observations, time series :


The Data Buoy Cooperation Panel, DBCP provides monthly updates on status of oceanic buoys and drifters

Buoy Status : DBCP.kmz


The National Snow and Ice Data Center provides a daily Google Earth map of the sea ice extent, including the arctic ocean.

Sea Ice Extent : NSIDC_NISE.kml

The Multi-sensor Improved Sea Surface Temperature for GODAE programme is producing analyzed temperature fields for the earth.

Google Earth MISST Data Imagery

The Rutgers University Coastal Ocean Observation Lab is making use of Google Earth images to monitor the progress of an underwater robot's mission across the Atlantic Ocean.  More information on the Mission can be found Here.

Gulf Stream SST : GulfStream.kmz
Glider path and status : Glider positions and status KMZ


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IODE's OceanPortal

The IODE programme, through its network of oceanographic data centres, also provides oceanographic data and information. This information can be real-time or delayed mode (quality controlled). The IODE's OceanPortal provides links and information about many IOC, IODE and GOOS services and data centers.

For more information on developments of GOOS data streams have a look at the GOOS news and recent publications/presentations .

IODE Data Policy

GOOS Adheres to all IOC data policies.  These are summarized here: IOC OCEANOGRAPHIC DATA EXCHANGE POLICY