The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world, so big that you can see it from outer space. But if you’re not in Australia or space, you too can check out the glory that is this marine ecosystem, home to rich wildlife that includes whales, dolphins, sharks and turtles, to name a few.
How? With Google, of course. The search giant has teamed up with UQ Global Change Institute, Underwater Earth and insurance company Catlin to bring the Catlin Seaview Survey, which will study the reef’s health. The project will use a special camera developed for the expedition to capture thousands of 360-degree panoramas underwater. “When stitched together, these will allow people to choose a location, dip underwater and go for a virtual dive at all of the locations visited by the expedition,” reported the University of Queensland.
The panorama images will be uploaded to Google’s Panoramio, where it will be available to the public and function sort of like an underwater Street View. An estimated 50,000 panoramas will be accessible in partnership with Google Earth and Google Maps. A dedicated YouTube channel will broadcast livestreams of the expedition team from the ocean floor.
Ready to dive in Australia? Google can make that happen without you leaving the computer.