From September, the Catlin Seaview Survey, run by the University of Queensland in conjunction with insurers the Caitlin Group, will take to the water to conduct 360 degree panoramic filming of the greatest reef on earth, with Google making all 50,000 images available on Google Results, Google Earth and Google Maps through a new feature in Panaramio. There will also be a dedicated YouTube channel and live streams of the expedition team at work.
Professor Hoegh-Guldberg, Director of the Global Chane Institute and Chief Scientist on the project, said “The Catlin Seaview Survey comprises a series of studies which will reveal to the public one of the last frontiers on Earth: the oceans.
“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. This project is very exciting.”
The survey will take place in three stages; a shallow reef survey of 20 sites across the2300km of the reef, a deep water survey using robots to depths of 30-100 metres, and finally a mega-fauna survey that will explore how green turtles, tiger sharks and manta rays migrate in response to ocean temperatures.
A spokesperson for SEO Company SachaMango Media, said: “This is a great example of how technology can be used to not only to help make ground-breaking research a reality, but also to educate and inspire the public to learn more about the underwater world around us. It forms an important link between scientific knowledge and public awareness, and gives people an opportunity to see rare sites that they might never get to see unless they actually visited Australia and went underwater themselves. The project will allow us all to go for a virtual dive without ever leaving the comfort of our own armchairs!
The survey is set to begin in September, although the project’s website already has some images from initial equipment testing and a demo of how the panaramio images will be viewed. However, there are already plans underway to document some of the most important oceans in the rest of the world.
“It’s no surprise that Google has got involved,” said the spokesperson.” As the biggest occupier of search space in the UK – some 93% – and with the features like Google Results, Earth and Maps already popular with the public, it makes sense they should be the partner of choice to develop the applications needed on its advanced platforms to view the incredible images that will come from the project.”