Today marks the launch of Google’s underwater street view. In the same way that you can virtually navigate streets of the topside world you can now virtually dive through the underwater world of Heron Island, a coral formation on the Great Barrier Reef. It’s stage one of a six-part underwater series. Next up, the deep and shallow coral reefs of Hawaii, the Philippines, and Bermuda.
The lucky mappers are Catlin Seaview Survey—a partnership between the global insurance company Catlin Group Limited, Google and the amazing nonprofit Underwater Earth. The Catlin Seaview Survey is a visionary scientific study which aims to reveal the life and science of the oceans for all to see. Starting with the Great Barrier Reef the survey hopes to capture reefs around the world like never before, in high-res, 360 degree panoramic vision, producing a benchmark “reef record” for the scientific community to monitor change and for the public at large to experience unprecedented accessibility to our oceans through virtual diving.
Attempting to chart the oceans, which cover 70 per cent of the planet is Google’s next ambitious step in their mandate to “build the most accurate, comprehensive, user-friendly map out there.”