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06/10/2012 by

A Google Deep Dive: Now Mapping Oceans?

Google keeps surprising us with disruptive innovations, broadening our horizons and expectations. Should I mention Earth, Mars and Goggles? Now mapping the oceans for you?

The new interactive panorama feature within Google Maps is Ocean View.

So if you want to explore the oceans like Jacques Cousteau, I suggest you read along…

If you are ready to meets sharks virtually, want to experience undersea image of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, would like to explore the waters of the Apo Islands in the Philippines or the marine life around the Islands of Hawaii, Google is ready to expand your horizon, again.

The oceanic photos could range from coral reefs, fish, and turtles to sharks. Just zoom in to get stunning undersea views without the need to get your Paddy diving license first.

The photos are part of a partnership with the Catlin Seaview Survey, an ambitious project focused on documenting the world’s reefs using high-resolution 360-degree images.

Catlin is working to create a thorough archive off the world’s reefs that scientists can use to study the effects of climate change. By documenting reefs with photographs, it will be possible to determine the impact increased water temperatures and acidity will have on the areas over time.

Cameras designed for this project were custom-designed and have the ability to be controlled by a tablet in watertight housing, the recording of GPS data and the recording at specific angles.

“If you want to reach millions of people worldwide, the first place you knock on the door is Google,” said Richard Vevers, project director of the Catlin Seaview Survey

So far, the project has produced 15.000 panoramic underwater photos, each of which were made of three separate shots. Future sites will include Bermuda, the Caribbean, and the Coral Triangle.

My Opinion?
I think it is an amazing next step, almost thought to be science fiction a few years ago. More important to me: This is another example of “technology enabling to do more good”! I love that about technology.

Maybe this new service also enables divers and the rest of the underwater community with next handy features like: An underwater TomTom to find your closest diving location?

What About You?

How do you rate this disruptive innovation from Google? What other opportunities do you see with similar features? We’d love to read your ideas in the comments.

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Related Stories
Have you seen our previous story on Google Eye? Or how about TomTom’s new strategic mapping course?


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