Regardless of your views on Google Street View -- whether you find it invasive or helpful -- its latest project is sure to intrigue you. The same technology that lets you virtually walk down a street will soon let you dive on the Great Barrier Reef.
"For the first time in history, we have the technology available to broadcast the findings of an 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," says the survey's chief scientist, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg of the University of Queensland in Brisbane.
In the project, which will begin filming in September, a diver will use an underwater "scooter" outfitted with a 360 degree camera, but it's not just that easy. New Scientist reports that some challenges that weren't encountered with cameras on land will include clarity, low light and distortion. The team will be using a camera that is equipped to deal with these issues.
Watch this New Scientist report about the survey and its goals:
In addition to creating a panoramic webpage, New Scientist states that the group will also be making a video version for those who wanted a guided tour.
Aside from being entertaining for people who may never travel to the Great Barrier Reef to snorkel or scuba dive, the project hopes that the footage they capture can be used when the reef is damaged as a comparison. Local authorities have also shown interest in using the camera technology to survey damage when it occurs.
You can see a demo of what the project will look like here.