3D Shipwreck Tours and Maps

Explore some of the world's top dive sites using our
unique 3D shipwreck photo tours

It has been a long time in the preparation, with many hours spent developing ground breaking mapping techniques, but finally we are proud to launch our newest fourth element adventures project – documenting some of the world’s greatest shipwreck sites with interactive 3D wreck visualisations.

We have started the project with four well known wrecks, the Thistlegorm, the James Eagan Layne and the Um El Faroud, The fourth wreck, the San Francisco Maru was documented and recorded by Team Divers Pete Mesley and Leigh Bishop, whilst leading the fourth element expedition to Truk Lagoon. The 3D visualisation of the San Francisco Maru is part of our wider Truk Lagoon project
– If you're interested in joining one of two expeditions planned to Truk next year read more here.

Our latest work in 2011 has been a collaboration with NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Association) in the USA, specifically Thunder Bay Marine Sanctuary on Lake Huron. We worked their dive team to document 7 historic shipwrecks using our interactive 3D wreck technology.

about our 3D Wreck Projects

Thistlegorm 3D Wreck Map

Theory behind 3D wreck navigation

Using a map and compass (whether on-land or underwater) may seem like the most effective way of navigating. However, theory now suggests that the most successful navigators are actually navigating from memory using visual landmarks [source].

Our interactive 3D wreck tours offer a vast amount of visual information compared to anything else available for free today. By engaging with and using these tours/maps, divers create memorable visual landmarks in their minds, which they subconsciously recall during a dive, using the visual clues to navigate around a wreck.

Generating the 3D Wreck Tours

We spend time researching each wreck using everything from individual diver descriptions to photos and videos. The 3D models are carefully generated using precise architectural software, and transfered into rich media web applications to allow you to explore the wreck interactively. Photos are then plotted onto the maps along with labels to give the greatest level of information to divers.

Fourth Element are proud to be the first in the diving industry worldwide, to offer this unique cutting edge technology as a resource to the diving community. If you're interested in getting involved in these 3D wreck mapping projects, please contact mike@fourthelement.com