Panoramic images of Great Barrier Reef

File under super cool – from The Conversation:

Internet surfers will soon be able to go below the surface to immerse themselves in the spectacular coral and marine life of the Great Barrier Reef, under a joint venture between global technology giant Google, the University of Queensland Global Change Institute and insurance company Catlin.

The Catlin Seaview Survey camera, developed for the expedition, will capture 50,000 360-degree underwater panoramas from the reef, which will then be uploaded to Google Earth and Google Maps.

The project’s chief scientist, Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, who is Director of the Global Change Institute at The University of Queensland, said the project would gather data to give scientists a better understanding of the impact of climate change and other environmental factors on ocean ecosystems.

“The visual nature of the project will also help bridge the gap between scientific knowledge and public awareness,” Professor Hoegh-Guldberg said.

“For the first time in history, we have the technology to broadcast the findings and 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.”

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