Plate coral at Three Sisters

Google maps dives underwater

A feature on BoingBoing late in the third quarter of 2012 drew my attention to the fact that Google Street View, a feature of Google Maps which we used extensively when house hunting (sparing many interactions with estate agents, for which one can mostly be very grateful), has released underwater “street views” of six coral reef locations around the world. Google originally announced the news on its official blog.

Allowing people to look under the ocean at what’s there (and I mean what actually lives there, not an attention seeker in a bikini holding onto a shark’s fin) is one of the most powerful methods available for spurring an interest in marine conservation. It is easy not to care about something one has never seen. Tony has had some startlingly intense reactions to the photographs he applied to the side of the divemobile, sometimes attracting a small crowd of onlookers who exclaim “I didn’t know it looked like that underwater!”

The BoingBoing article explains some of the technicalities of the Google project, including the specially adapted video cameras used. It also features an interview with a project director of Catlin Seaview Survey, the company that partnered with Google to produce the content. You can read it here.

Find the underwater Google “street views” here. They are wonderfully soothing and a boon to the office-bound. I hope we get some cold water “street views” next…

Plate coral at Three Sisters
Plate coral at Three Sisters

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Clare

Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.

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