Have you ever dreamed of exploring coral reefs or swimming with a sea turtle or an occasional manta ray without any special diving equipment? Well, Google Street View, with its newly added images of breathtaking panoramic underwater views allows you to experience such an undersea adventure.
The ocean collection of images was gathered by Google Maps' partner, The Catlin Seaview Survey. This is a scientific study which is aimed to analyze the state of the world's oceans and reefs using specially designed equipment. To capture high-resolution 360-degree panoramic pictures, the project developed the first ever tablet-operated underwater camera with three wide-angle lenses.
This new underwater Street View, which is now available to millions of people, provides an incredible virtual investigation of the sea floor and reefs in Australia, the Philippines, and Hawaii. The main purpose of the newly unveiled feature is to give Google Maps users a chance to stroll along the mysterious underwater locations and watch the creatures that live there. And for all these adventures beneath the waves you do not need any special swimming skills or technology.
Moreover, in addition to being of most entertaining value, the study aims to help scientists all over the world to analyze the state of fragile ecosystems and see how they are changing. "This is a real opportunity to understand the story of climate change and natural ecosystems,” the project's chief scientist, Professor Ove Hoegh Guldberg, said. "At the end of the three-year survey we will have an important snapshot and understanding of the state of coral reefs across the planet."
All the collected data, called Global Reef Record, is available right now in Google Maps. So if you wish to take a fantastic underwater tour with amazing imagery, this new feature is made for you.