Google Street View is no longer limited to roads and sidewalks — now, you can browse stunning panoramic images from under the sea.
With a simple click or swipe, users can explore the subacquatic world, including Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay and Apo Islands in the Philippines. In total, there are panoramas of six of the ocean’s coral reefs.
“We’re adding the very first underwater panoramic images to Google Maps, the next step in our quest to provide people with the most comprehensive accurate and usable map of the world,” Google announced Tuesday on its official blog. “Now, anyone can become the next virtual Jacques Cousteau and dive with sea turtles, fish and manta rays.”
The images are made available on Street View through a partnership between Google and The Catlin Seaview Survey, a major scientific study of the world’s reefs, the blog said. The survey used the SVII, a specially designed underwater camera to capture the photos; it takes continual 360-degree panoramic images.
Among the sights, users can watch a sea turtle swim among a school of fish at Heron Island in the Great Barrier Reef, or follow snorkelers in Oahu’s Hanauma Bay.
In the blog post, Google also links to its World Wonders Project as a way to learn more about the Great Barrier Reef. The project provides information, videos and photos of natural and man-made landmarks, such as Pompeii and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial.
September 27, 2012