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Google launches panoramic underwater Street View

Google has just launched an underwater version of Street View, and while there are probably no “streets” underwater, there are definitely a lot of interesting things under water which aren’t available on land.

The underwater Street View was a joint project between Google and the Catlin Seaview Survey.  The survey team collected panoramic images of various oceanic locales, all the while utilizing Google enhanced technologies such as a Samsung Galaxy tablet to control and collect data from the cameras.

Divers and underwater vehicles played key roles in collecting the underwater images, and most of the images were collected over a span of six months using cameras that captured an image every four seconds.  The images were then “stitched” together to create a 360º panorama view. 

The goal of the project was not necessarily to show off Google’s Street View, but rather the expedition and surveys of the ocean were meant to help people to understand the significance of the ocean in a much broader scope. 

"The biggest problem with the ocean is that it's out of sight and out of mind for most of us," said Richard Vevers, project director of Catlin. "99% of people have never gone for a dive and never will. One of the biggest issues around conservation is engaging people with the ocean, and this is a powerful way to accomplish that. It is a scientific project to create a baseline for observing how the oceans are changing, but it also creates awareness of why that matters."

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