Running the applet on this page used to be a lot easier before the new locked down security configuration of Java. If you have Java on a Windows computer, you may need to go to Control Panel -> Java and add or as an exception under the Security tab. Then, reloading this page, you may still need to enable the Java plug-in (this is browser dependent) and then allow Java to run the applet. If this sounds more complicated than it's worth... I hear you. One of these days, I will write a JavaScript version of this applet, doing away with the need to use any plug-ins.

NB: Java applets no longer work at all in the Chrome browser, as support for such plugins was discontinued by Google.

I did the Seas of Mars, I played with the Seas of Venus, I even experimented with the seas of the Moon... until someone asked an interesting question: why don't I do a Seas of Earth page?

Intriguing idea. We all know what the map of the Earth looks like, but what would it look like if our planet had a lot more, or a lot less, water?

Finding altitude data for our home planet wasn't terribly difficult: It didn't take long to stumble upon the ETOPO2 database, where I found downloadable data sets, which I quickly converted to the format that my applet can accept. So here it is: your very own Earth to experiment with!

To use this program, set the sea level altitude to the level of your choosing (meaningful values are between -10000 and 10000 meters), and click the Redraw button. On slower computers, it may take a bit of time for the map to update itself.

Sea level altitude:  meters.

The inspiration for the original version of this program came from the Astronomy Picture of the Day Web site.