Google’s Street View has always been one of the most useful features of Google Maps, it allows you to preview the exact place where you need to go, you can know the color or shape of the front door or any other particularity of the facade. Even more, it let us visit places that are miles away from our actual location and appreciate their architecture turning left or right, up or down, while walking a few blocks as if we were right there. The company has not stopped with this service in major cities, but it has expanded it to cover some trails of national parks and other natural landscapes. Now, Google has announced that it wants us to recognize every corner of the ecosystem that covers 70 percent of the surface of our planet and yet is one of the most unknown for us, the oceans.
With the World Oceans Day being 4 days from now, Google wants to contribute in the education about this ecosystem as well as raise some awareness to the damages done by humans throughout the years including pollution or overfishing some areas. The project has actually been going on for 4 years and using GPS-based photographs they have been monitoring the way it has changed. For example, the Great Barrier Reef has changed its color to white over time as a result of the rising temperature of water and the increase in storms, so by showing it in this maps we could do something to help preserving it.
For this purpose, Google has partnered with XL Catlin Seaview Survey, NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the Chagos Conservation Trust to create the imagery for the 40 locations around the world that include the American Samoa in the South Pacific Ocean, Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean, Bali, the Bahamas and the Great Barrier Reef. While building some conscience, we can enjoy beautiful images and even spot a few animals like sea turtles, humpback whales, white sharks and some exotic creatures like the sunfish. With features like zooming in and out as well as turning around to explore the scenery.