February 16, 2015

Dive into Google Maps Ocean Street View

Satellite 3D images of Cuba, Florida, overlooking Pacific Ocean
By Nick K.

Google has been able to advance their Street View quite extensively by providing several opportunities for people to explore great places, such as various  U.S. wonders, which can all be accessed and explored with a few clicks of the computer mouse.

The amount of adventures you can take using Google Street Views is impressive, but how could 
Google improve their Street View in such a way that it would blow people out of the water?

Google spent countless hours pondering for answers, so much so that they had to dig deeper than the ocean floor.  Eventually, a message arrived to them in a bottle from Mother Nature herself, simply stating, “Explore the Ocean.”  

Now, that story does seem farfetched, but in reality, Google has expanded their Street View by providing a new Ocean Street View where people can explore several exotic ocean locations such as The Great Barrier Reef, the Galapagos Islands, and the Florida Keys.

Google teamed up with Catlin Seaview Survey to capture stunning and surreal 360-degree panoramic underwater images to raise awareness of the environmental changes occurring in the ocean. Google also provides a powerful way to visually display these changes. Google’s Oceans Programs mission is to make Google maps as comprehensive as possible by extending their reach, not only on land, but also underwater.

The major scientific survey began a few years ago starting in The Great Barrier Reef as a way to monitor the coral reef populations. Today, the project has been expanded to many global locations like Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.  

Let’s embark on an unforgettable ocean voyage without getting soaking wet! First stop, The Great Barrier Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is truly one of Earth’s greatest natural gifts to mankind. The vast amount of coral, life, and exotic colors make this place seem like it’s from a different planet. With an abundant amount of breathtaking reefs and wildlife to see, I recommend diving right into The Great Barrier Reef and let the images do all the talking!  

A sea turtle and schools of fish swimming through coral at the Great Barrier Reef
A sea turtle enjoying the Great Barrier Reef. Photo from Catlin Seaview Survey. 

The Galapagos Islands

If you are looking to explore a place closer to home, then perhaps the Galapagos Islands are more your style. The coral fields that live here are not as large and vast as the ones located at Great Barrier Reef, but they do satisfy the craving for great sites of beautiful coral, roaming seals, and schools of fish. Be sure to also check out the up-close images of the coral reefs, which look so real you might forget it is just a picture on your computer screen.  

Several sea lions swimming together above the rocky sea floor
Sea Lions welcoming divers to the Galapagos Islands. Photo from Catlin Seaview Survey.

Florida Keys

Nothing says “vacation” like the Sunshine State of Florida! The Keys are literally one of America’s hottest, spots in the country for some great times, no pun intended. Why not take a cool adventure and travel down to Florida’s Coral Restoration Nursery. The nursery itself looks like a bunch of small Christmas trees underwater, just swaying with the ocean current, but it is actually home to many endangered coral species. If you want something more adventurous you could visit the impressive Aquarius Reef Base! The base is actually an underwater habitat maintained by the Florida International University which is used to record and analysis marine life ecosystems.

A cylinder-shaped object locked down to the ocean floor, located in Florida, called the Aquarius Reef Base which has wildlife roaming and living on it
Aquarius Reef Base located in Florida Keys. Photo form Catlin Seaview Survey.

Adventure Awaits!

Google Maps: Oceans provides hours of enjoyment for people interested in what life is like under the sea, especially across exotic locations around the world. Although these ocean voyages probably aren’t close to an actual vacation, hopefully they can help you get away from the rough waters of your daily life!

Have you been on an underwater voyage before? If so, what were your favorite parts you explored? Please feel free to share your answer in the comments.   

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