Google Maps goes to new depths with underwater panoramic images (video)

26 Sep 20121 Share

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Image of Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef from Google Street View

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Google Maps has introduced its first underwater Street View collection, letting users get up close to six living coral reefs in Australia, Hawaii and the Philippines without having to don a wetsuit.

The new Street View Ocean collection features amazing panoramic underwater images from Molokini Crater, Maui and Hanauma Bay, Oahu in Hawaii; Apo Island, Dauin in the Philippines; and Wilson Island, Lady Elliot Island and Heron Island in the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia.

Users can become a virtual underwater explorer through these images, tying in with Google’s World Wonders project, which brings Street View to landmark building and cultural sites to help users discover more about them.

Image from Lady Elliot Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia (Google Street View)

Image from Lady Elliot Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia (Google Street View)

Image from Apo Island, Dauin, Philippines (Google Street View)

Image from Apo Island, Dauin, Philippines (Google Street View)

Brian McClendon, vice-president of Google Maps and Google Earth, called the latest development “the next step in our quest to provide people with the most comprehensive, accurate and usable map of the world” – which, to me, reads like, “Naa-naa-na-na-naa, Apple Maps.”

Image from Lady Elliott Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia (Google Street View)

Image from Lady Elliot Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia (Google Street View)

Hanauma Bay, Oahu, Hawaii (Google Street View)

Hanauma Bay, Oahu, Hawaii (Google Street View)

Sea turtles, shoals of fish and huge manta rays can all be found in the images, which come as a result of Google’s partnership with the Catlin Seaview Survey. Researchers working on this major scientific study of the world’s reefs use specially designed underwater cameras like the SVII, which take continual 360-degree panoramic images.

 

Elaine Burke is managing editor of Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com