Google Street View takes on a whole new perspective with some absolutely spectacular pictures from the ocean. Recently, Google partnered with the Catlin Seaview Survey, a group dedicated to studying coral reefs, to create amazing panoramic views of the ocean floor in a project called Google Maps Ocean.
The goal of this project is to document the ocean in a way no one has ever done before and to monitor the health of coral reefs. Google also hopes to expose the world to these beautiful sights so everyone will be able to see the ocean for themselves even if they are landlocked. The Ocean Street View works like the normal Street View where you can navigate and zoom in through the images of the ocean just as you would while navigating streets on dry land.
In the Ocean Street View you can play with sea lions in the Galapagos or swim with turtles in the Great Barrier Reef. All of these images are astounding, I really feel like I’m underwater when I’m viewing them. Though I love the images with sea turtles, my favorite images would have to be The Underwater Museum of Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Discovering the lost car taken over by sea life is unbelievable and I love looking at the colorful fish swimming nearby.
According to the Google Blog, the Catlin Seaview Survey used a special underwater SVII camera to take the panoramic photos. This camera allows a single diver to take images from the ocean floor easily and quickly, all from the perspective of a scuba diver. Pictures are taken every 3 seconds at a speed of 4km/h to capture a clear image even when animals and people are moving.
As of now, Google and the Catlin Seaview Survey have gathered images from several locations including the Great Barrier Reef, the Galapagos, the Komodo Islands, and many more reefs. They can all be viewed on the Google Ocean Street View website.
The project is a wonderful way to educate people and help preserve about the very endangered coral reefs and the species that live there. Currently our oceans are facing numerous threats including pollution and global warming. To protect these beautiful scenes that Ocean Street View features, actions have to be taken. The National Geographic website has some great tips on what you can do to help keep our oceans preserved for the future.