Planet GOOG

Google Dives Into Ocean Exploration, Maps the Great Barrier Reef

The Pacific Ocean, now © Google.
picture 53 Google Dives Into Ocean Exploration, Maps the Great Barrier Reef

(Photo: Google Blog)

Google Maps isn’t all confusing strings of highways or kids pointing guns at you. There’s also an undeniable whimsical note to the whole project, marked by the endearingly dorky desire to chronicle the entire physical world. Now, Google has taken that whimsy a step further to include underwater streetview in its canon of maps. And there are pictures of sea turtles!

Yesterday on its blog, Google announced that it had added the very first underwater panoramic shots to the Google Maps catalog. Google has chronicled underwater expeditions in Australia, Hawaii and the Philippines. For anyone who’s afraid of sharks (like, hypothetically speaking), now’s your chance to explore the Great Barrier Reef without fearing a Jaws encore.

Google also wrote that it has partnered with the Catlin Seaview Survey in order to bring the underwater streetview images to the public. The Survey provided the Google team with the heavy duty underwater camera that make the whole project possible.

Rumor has it that the idea for the project “originated when someone driving a streetview car tried using Apple maps to find a bridge.”

Now, if only they could provide indisputable evidence of mermaids, all would be right with the world.

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