This is probably one of the coolest things we have seen from Google in a long time. "Google Streetview" but under the oceans ....and it's just been upgraded for World Oceans day 2015
Yes, yes, it may not be as radical as Google Glasses or Streetview itself when the idea was first introduced to us, but how cool is it to be able to explore under the oceans using, it's a bit like snorkeling right from your computer. The high-definition images of the exotic sea animals are spectacular, even for those who have used Google’s Street View. Without leaving wherever you are right now, you can swim with giant sunfish, humpback whales and sea turtles. You can explore some of the world's most magnifcent reefs and locations ...all from your computer. Yes, yes, we agree, nothing close to the real thing, but fun nonetheless :)
Scientists are learning to use specialized fisheye lenses underwater in the hopes of applying "street view" mapping to research and management plans in marine sanctuaries worldwide. Some of the rotating and panoramic images are available online, including a selection on Google Maps, giving the public a window into ecosystems still difficult and costly to explore for long stretches of time. About 400,000 images have been produced so far of reefs off Australia, the US and in the Caribbean. They will also help scientists study the effects of warming ocean temperatures, pollution and hurricanes on reefs. ...and of course, plenty of eye candy for ocean lovers at work.
Mapping the ocean is key to preserving it. Each image in Google Maps is a GPS-located digital record of these underwater and coastal environments, which can be used as a baseline to monitor change over time. 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.
Check out and explore some of the very cool Google undersea maps here .....Happy Exploring