Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ocean Tracks - Track and View Marine Animals in 3D

Ocean Tracks is an Australian website on which students can view the tracks of marine animals in an online 3D environment. The "tracks" part of Ocean Tracks shows you where in the world tagged animals are swimming or have swum. Ocean Tracks uses the Unity browser plug-in to provide animations of the underwater views of tracked animals. You can see what bluefin tuna, swordfish, sharks, and many other fish see in 3D. Watch the promo video below to learn more about Ocean Tracks.

Applications for Education 
Ocean Tracks could be a great resource to use in marine biology lessons to show student how far some marine animals travel. Students will also enjoy seeing what those animals see. Those underwater views could be helpful in demonstrating to students why animals like sharks use their sense of smell to find prey.

If you do decide to use Ocean Tracks in your classroom, bear in mind that it is quite bandwidth intensive.