It’s a deep-sea safari with improved Google Street View

4 Jun 2015

Google’s latest addition to its ever-improving online map of our world now includes some pretty amazing underwater footage, taking in sea life from the likes of Bali, the Cook Islands and areas in the South Pacific.

Capturing things like humpback whales, giant fish and coral around the world, Google’s newest Street View trick is pretty amazing.

Oceanic conservation seems the inspiration behind this massive programme, with the tech giant launching its underwater wonderland in time for World Oceans Day on 8 June.

Through working with XL Catlin Seaview Survey, NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the Chagos Conservation Trust, Google gained footage that now allows us to explore brand-new Street View imagery of more than 40 locations around the world.

Interestingly, by geolocating and accurately timing the imagery, this can now be used as a baseline for further monitoring of the underwater environment humanity seems hellbent on destroying.


The Liberty Wreck in Bali, profiled on Street View

For example these two images of the Airport Reef in Samoa, taken just one year apart, demonstrate reef deterioration from ocean warming.

With just one click, you can swim underwater alongside some of the most wondrous and exotic creatures, including a sea turtle in the Solomon Islands, humpback whales in the Cook Islands, great white sharks in Australia, and the huge and mysterious sunfish (Mola mola) in Bali.

Humpback whales

Humpback whales in the Cook Islands, just hanging out on Google Street View

It’s been a four-year project and, by the looks of it, not something that Google plans on stopping anytime soon. So whether you’re a conservationist or just into looking at some amazing underwater photography, check out what’s on offer.


Mayreau Hot Springs in St Vincent and the Grenadines, all on Google Street View

It’s not the first time Google’s submerged itself to send us snaps from beneath, memorably attempting to hunt down the Loch Ness Monster earlier this year. Unsuccessfully.

Sea life image, via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic