Ever wanted to see the great coral reefs of the world but don’t have the time, money, or expertise to fly down to Australia and go scuba diving? Google, along with the Catlin Seaview Survey, have taken hundreds of panoramic photos down below and have posted the resulting pictures online in Google’s Street View interface. The photos were taken with a specially designed 360-degree camera, the Seaview SVII, which is a lot like an underwater version of Google’s Street View cameras. In addition to a 360-degree image, the camera captures geolocation and direction, so it’s possible to create a detailed map with the photos. Initially, the underwater photos were taken to document the condition of the world’s reefs, but Google and Catlin Seaview realized that posting them online can bring a whole lot of joy beyond environmental preservation. You can check out diving sites in the Phillipines, Hawaii, and Australia at maps.google.com/ocean today.
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