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Google SeaView: the underwater version of Street View

According to a NewScientist publication, Google plans to create an underwater variant of the Street View service. The company hopes to begin its photographic work at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

“The project is a joint venture between Google, the University of Queensland and its sponsor, a multinational insurance company called Catlin Group,” describes the website.

In addition to presenting new focuses of learning, the project will emerge the current state of the reef from underwater photographic and video research – and of course, let the rest of us enjoy the beauty of the reef without limits online.

“For the first time in history, we have the technology available to transmit the results of an expedition through Google. Millions of people will be able to experience the life, science and magic that exists beneath the surface of our oceans, ”said lead research scientist, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, at the University of Queensland in Brisbane.

To give divers online a 360 degree view, camera work will be a real challenge, said Richard Vevers, founder of Terra Underwater, a group that specializes in handling diving robots, submarines and everything that uses a camera for research.

“Problems with water clarity, low light conditions and underwater light distortion are a very different environment from the basic Street View setup. The development of the camera was carried out independently of Google and will be used by underwater photography specialists. The result is a very different picture, ”says Vevers.

For those who don’t want to view through panoramic photos, there are also plans to capture video at each reef site for screening on YouTube – where a bespoke channel is being developed by Google.

“We are also looking at a 360º panoramic video mode, however due to the extremely high volume of data, new developments in technology are needed before this information can be put online,” explained Vevers.