Google Street View has been increasing our ability to travel the world and enter foreign places, without ever having to leave our seat. In honor of World Oceans Day June 8, our virtual views have just expanded underwater with Google Oceans.
The result of a partnership with XL Catlin Seaview Survey, NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, and the Chagos Conservation Trust, the underwater map gives viewers a 360-degree look at some choice underwater locations. You can explore a coral nursery, swim with dolphins, and even examine shipwrecks.
"Home to the majority of life on Earth, the ocean acts as its life support system, controlling everything from our weather and rainfall to the oxygen we breathe. Yet despite the ocean’s vital importance, the ocean is changing at a rapid rate due to climate change, pollution, and overfishing, making it one of the most serious environmental issues we face today," states the Google Maps blog.
The project is also an effort to record change over time. "This comprehensive record of coral reefs showcases the beauty of these ecosystems and highlights the threats they face, such as the impact of increasing storms in the Great Barrier Reef and of rising water temperatures, factors causing the reefs to bleach white," it says.
This is not the first time Google has offered underwater views, but it's certainly its most ambitious aquatic project yet.
[h/t: Good Magazine]