Google Maps is to digitizing our planet. From Trails, to Buildings, to Roads. Just about everything on land. But what they or no other map has ever digitized before is what takes up 71% of our planet and that is the oceans. Understandably because it would take a lot of work and outstanding equipment to do so.
Google Maps has begun this assignment, partnering with Catlin Seaview Survey, who are devoted to documenting the ocean’s reefs. This works out for both parties. Because they can lend the other a helping hand at the end of the day; both achieve their goals.
The crew have been using SVII, the world’s first underwater camera that is controlled by a tablet. Using the SVII, 360 degree pictures are taken while roaming around underwater creating tens of thousands of frames for each area. Inclusive off the reef, all the underwater creatures that were around during capture and a few divers scattered here and there. Imagine how exciting a project this must be.
So far Google and their partner has successfully captured 6 different reefs in 3 countries. Two from each. The countries are Hawaii, Australia and the Philippines. Hawaii being the lat and current. Their are future plans to cover the entire surface area and even taking it to the deep waters with the use of robots. This inevitable cause new underwater creatures to “surface”. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing. Because some of those creatures are probably left unheard of and especially not seen.
This is a truly exciting project Google has taken on and will make for great research and recreation when they’re done. But right now, you can check out what they’ve done so far on the street view section of their Google Maps site.