The underwater world is undeniably one of the things that come to mind when environment protection is being talked about, with threats such as global warming, pollution, and the like. In line with this, Google, has just released a new feature for its Google Maps Street View service, which takes a user into the deepest levels and parts of the water world, all while in front of a computer. This announcement comes after their annual I/O event, which was held over a week ago.
In time for World Oceans Day, which is celebrated every June 8th, Google has partnered with Catlin Seaview Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Chagos Conservation Trust, to bring underwater imagery of over 40 locations around the world. Street View will now allow users to explore the deep blue waters of the Bahamas, the coral reefs of the Pacific, the beaches in Bali, among many others.
Google hopes that with the release of this new feature, people will be inspired more to learn about the importance of the oceans, and man's duty to protect them. The images taken underwater are reportedly GPS-located digital records, which can then be used in monitoring changes in the area over a period of time. The company raises its concerns on the issue, and states:
Mapping the ocean is key to preserving it. This comprehensive record of coral reefs showcases the beauty of these ecosystems and highlights the threats they face, such as the impact of increasing storms in the Great Barrier Reef and of rising water temperatures, factors causing the reefs to bleach white.
The imagery will also let you swim with fish and different creatures, like humpback whales, great white sharks, sea turtles, and Bali's Mola Mola, or sunfish.
Google, in addition to the underwater Street View feature, has snagged partnerships with organizations like NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, Reef Check, Blue Ventures, among others, to bring even more imagery available to the public, to help them understand and explore ocean and water systems better.
Source: Google Maps Blog | Images via Google Maps