Google has taken its Street View tool to a lot of off-the-beaten-track locations, from the Amazon to Antarctica, but none is as crazy as the search giant's latest effort to bring us all below sea level.
Google this week announced that it's adding the very first underwater panoramic images to Google Maps, allowing users to explore and experience six of the ocean’s most incredible living coral reefs without having to don an oxygen tank and scuba gear. The images are a result of a partnership between Google and The Catlin Seaview Survey, which is a major scientific study of the world’s reefs. Google's VP of Google Maps and Earth, Brian McClendon, said that the images were captured for Google Street View using a specially designed underwater camera dubbed the SVII. The Catlin Seaview Survey explains that the SVII captures rapid-fire 360 degree images every three seconds while traveling at a speed of roughly 4kmph. These images are then stitched together to create the virtual dive effect that Google Street View now offers.