To celebrate the World Oceans Day on June 8, Google decided to take their cameras below the water surface and start documenting underwater sceneries from certain places around the world. One of them is the Great Barrier Reef, where they placed submerged cameras in 20 spots.
Other, previously quite private places in the seas that are now being officially displayed to the public, are located outside of Bali, the Bahamas, and the Maldives. Google has also found an Indonesian shipwreck worth looking at.
The 360 degrees viewing range offers beautiful and unusual “street views”, and Google wants to raise people’s awareness of the fragile underwater environments and their sensitivity and exposure to changes introduced by modern humans.
Google Ocean Program staff talks about the project, the oceans and our collective responsibilities: “We hope the release of this imagery inspires people to learn more about this precious natural resource. As the ocean changes we must change with it, by creating new technologies to help document the state of the ocean today and how it changes in years to come.”
The official website for World Oceans Day reminds us about the importance of these vast blue areas of our planet: “The ocean regulates the climate, feeds millions of people every year, produces oxygen, is the home to an incredible array of wildlife, provides us with important medicines… (and ensures) the health and safety of our communities and future generations.”
The images were collected not only by Google Earth Outreach, but also several other engaged organisations, such as Underwater Earth, the US Government’s National Marine Sanctuaries, the XL Caitlin Seaview Survey and the Chagos Conservation Trust.
Employees at Google Ocean Program confirms that Google intends to document more oceanic locations, while the rest of us just have a feeling that this is indeed only the beginning. Perhaps Google will pull off what science hasn’t been able to, so far – to create a detailed map over 70 percent of the planet’s surface?
Image: Google Ocean Program