Google takes Maps underwater, explores world's coral reefs

By on September 26, 2012, 4:30 PM

While iOS 6 users complain about the half-baked mapping experience they’re getting on their recently updated Apple devices, Google continues to take its Street View feature off the beaten path, this time allowing users to dive through the world’s oceans with the first underwater panoramas in Google Maps.

The search giant partnered with the Catlin Seaview Survey, a project focused on recording and revealing the world’s oceans and reefs, to provide “Sea View” experiences in six of the ocean’s most incredible living coral reefs: Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef; Lady Elliot Island, Great Barrier Reef, Wilson Island, Great Barrier Reef; Apo Island, Philippines; Oahu, Hawaii: Hanauma Bay; Maui, Hawaii, Molokini Crater.

The imagery was captured with a specially designed underwater camera, the Catlin Seaview SVII, which takes high-resolution, 360-degree pictures every 3 seconds while traveling at a speed of approximately 2.5 miles per hour. The idea is to give scientists around the world a tool to monitor change in marine environments now and in the future, while giving the rest of the world a cool way to explore the oceans from their own desks.

“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,” the company wrote in a blog post announcing the new feature.

In addition to the new undersea imagery, Google also announced new Street View data for Chile and Croatia.

User Comments: 6

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Guest said:

So how long is it going to take Google to map the entire of the Earth's seabed travelling at 2.5 miles per hour?

Guest said:

Assuming the worlds surface area IS 318 795 000miles (converted from 510,072,000km2 and that I've converted it correctly)

It should take about 127,518,000 hours for a single camera to do the whole earth which is about 14,547 years.

So if they got about 1250 cameras to do it it'd only take 12 years or so.


1 person liked this | Scshadow said:

How long until the aquatic wildlife gets their panties up in a bunch over "privacy" invasion? Have they perhaps found a place where they can map freely without legal repercussions?

Emexrulsier said:

You're failing to take into account that you are not taking a picture every 2.5 miles which would be your equation.

j05hh j05hh said:

This is why Google Maps is awesome!

foreverzero89 said:

This is for when apple maps leads into the ocean instead of the supermarket.

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