Thanks to a collaboration between The University of Queensland, a multinational insurance firm called The Catlin Group, and (prepare to be shocked) Google, the best dive destination on the planet just might beyour own computer desk. No longer content with near total disclosure of terra firma or the inside of your local 7-11, Google is now looking to our vast oceans for their next bid to keep you glued firmly to your monitors. The effort is actually part of the Catlin Seaview Survey which targets Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. The goal is to “…learn as much as possible about the reef’s state of health from a panoramic underwater photographic and video survey – and let the rest of us enjoy the reef’s untrammelled beauty online.” Equal parts scientific expedition and public outreach this could be the first of many similar surveys if it is successful.
While nothing could replace actually diving on location the current “streetview” like picture navigation should soon be accompanied by full 360 degree video footage when the technology becomes available to stream such demanding media, making it much more realistic. There are a few expeditions you can already check out on your own at Seaview.org with many more to come in the near future.
“For the first time in history, we have the technology available to broadcast the findings of an expedition through Google. Millions of people will be able to experience the life, the science and the magic that exists under the surface of our oceans,” says the survey’s chief scientist, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg of the University of Queensland in Brisbane.”
Demo of the Seaview here.
This will surely become a WMD in Google’s endless assault on your productivity…