Google Maps is going where no mapping company has gone before: underwater. The tech giant recently teamed up with The Catlin Seaview Survey for a significant science study of the world’s reefs. This feature will allow users to surf through the world’s oceans, thanks to the underwater panoramas with Google maps.

Google maps

The search giant recently enhanced their street view feature that lets you view images from all the great oceans of the world, including the Great Barrier Reef off Australia and Hanauma Bay in Hawaii.

The vice president of Google Maps and Earth, Brian McClendon, said “Whether you’re a marine biologist, an avid scuba diver, or a landlocked landlubber, we encourage you to dive in and explore the ocean with Google Maps. “

McClendon also mentioned that the new images are “the next step in our quest to provide people with the most comprehensive, accurate, and usable map of the world.”

One look at these images shows some pretty amazing things, such as sea life.  These images were captured by a special underwater camera, called the Catlin Seaview SVII, which takes rapid 360-degree images about every three seconds, while it travels at a speed of about 2.5 miles an hour. The pictures are then strewn together to create a virtual dive, and they can publish them online.

This underwater street view project is simply awesome. It’s also things like this which show you that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is a pretty cool company that loves to merge science, technology, and education. I think this new feature will appeal to teachers, students, and just about everyone. I think Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has become so much more than just a search engine and technology company, they’re also pioneers in innovative Internet technology. What other search engine company can boast a blogging platform, virtual library of book samples,  popular free video streaming website, and a multitude of cool features? Google is the only one that can boast all of that.