If your Cairns vacation plans just haven’t come together and thus you haven’t ventured to the depths of the ocean for a close-up of the Great Barrier Reef, Google has you covered.
Starting this September, in an effort nicknamed “Google SeaView,” Google Street View will document the reef and capture its living activities through more than 50,000 panoramic photographs. These 360-degree snapshots will be available for viewing on Google Earth and Google Maps, helping satisfy travellers’ desire to visit the reef as well as documenting the environmental impacts that climate change has had on the reef, according to Dvice.com.
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The Atlantic reported that researchers from the University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute will join Google, the Underwater Earth organisation, and the Catlin Corporation’s Seaview Survey on its climate change documentation efforts. Carbon emissions and rising sea temperatures have caused the reef a multitude of problems including significant decreases in certain species’ populations, coral bleaching, heightened acid levels in the water, etc.
In addition to highlighting the environmental detriment impacting the reef, viewers will have a unique opportunity to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World from every angle – no wetsuit or plane ticket required.
"Millions of people will be able to experience the life, the science and the magic that exists under the surface of our oceans,” said project leader Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, a professor at the University of Queensland, to Dvice. “This project is very exciting."
This documentation, paired with satellite data, will also come in handy for cargo ship navigators as they steer around the intricacies of the reef.