Google Street View Goes Undersea

Google Street View Goes Undersea
WDnetStudio / Pixabay

Tech titan Google is celebrating World Oceans Day on June 8th by new posting Google Street View imagery of over 40 well-known undersea locations around the world, including American Samoa in the South Pacific Ocean and the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean, as well as deep sea views from Bali, the Bahamas and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

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More on Google Street View’s undersea locations

A June 4th blog post from Google describes the new ocean mapping project. Every image in Google Maps is a new GPS-located digital record of underwater and coastal environments. These images can then be used as a baseline to monitor change to the environment over time. For example, the ongoing historical record of coral reefs highlights the beauty of these ecosystems and makes clear the dangers they are facing, such as increasing storms in the Great Barrier Reef or increasing water temperatures, both factors in coral reefs bleaching white.

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With Google Street View undersea, you can virtually swim underwater next to wonderful and exotic creatures, such as a sea turtle in the Solomon Islands, humpback whales in the Cook Islands, great white sharks in Australia and the giant sunfish (Mola mola) in Bali.

New Google Underwater Street View program

In its blog post, Google emphasizes the firm’s commitment to help document the current state of the ocean and how it changes in the future. In close consultation  with XL Catlin Seaview Survey, Google also announced several new partnerships for their underwater Street View program to map and publish our ocean and water systems to improve global understanding:

  • NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries: An expansion of our current partnership to bring greater access to American marine protected areas
  • Reef Check: Working to engage and training volunteer citizen scientists to participate in ocean mapping and data collection projects
  • Blue Ventures: Helping develop locally-managed marine areas for biodiversity and the benefit of coastal populations throughout Madagascar and the Indian Ocean area
  • Our World Underwater Scholarship Society: Offering a program for firsthand underwater-related experiences to select global scholars
  • GUE’s Project Baseline: Working to establish a global network of highly skilled SCUBA divers to create a lasting visual legacy of underwater conditions in oceans, lakes, rivers, springs, and caves worldwide

Google’s new program Global Fishing Watch, developed in partnership with nonprofit agencies SkyTruth and Oceana, is creating the first public and interactive view of industrial fishing on a global scale. Global Fishing Watch will help empower governments, the seafood industry, research institutions and the public with new tools to better inform sustainable practices.

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