Google finally comes clean about San Francisco mystery barge

Summary:The speculation was fun while it lasted.


A data center. A luxury boat-meets-Google Glass showroom. Even a time travel machine.

These have all been floated around (pardon the pun) as possible explanations as to just what Google has been planning to do with that bizarre monstrosity out on the San Francisco Bay.

Now, the Internet giant has come clean, all but ending the wild but nonetheless entertaining speculation.

A Google spokesperson wrote back to ZDNet on Wednesday, confirming that Mountain View is in the process of "exploring using the barge as an interactive space where people can learn about new technology."

So...basically a new science and technology museum.

The concept is intriguing if not redundant given that San Francisco has at least two major museums dedicated to these subjects already: The Exploratorium, which recently moved from the Palace of Fine Arts to Pier 15, as well as the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park.

Still no word on where the barge might be docked permanently, although San Francisco's historic Fort Mason has been in the discussion mix for awhile now.

To recall, CNET, a sister site of ZDNet, first broke the scoop last month that Google was the force behind a mysterious new barge tucked behind Treasure Island in the Bay Area.

Based on a considerable amount of documentation and information from sources, a floating data center actually made quite a bit of sense at first glance.

However, it's not meant to be -- at least not this time.

Image via CNET

Topics: Tech Industry, Data Centers, Google, Government, Mobility


Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider,, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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