How would it make you feel to dive under water without scuba diving equipment and just use your computer? Google Maps has taken another level of mapping out the world, not only the streets of the cities but also a view of the underwater world. Many people find it easy to capture a 360 degree view of the city streets and upload it in the internet, but scientists are hoping that they can also do the same with all the wonders of the underwater, especially its coral reefs.
The scientists working in the US government are learning how to use the specialized fisheye lenses in the Florida Keys’ underwater in order to apply the concept of mapping a ‘street view’ for the purpose of management and research plans for the marine sanctuaries all over the country. Some of the shots the scientists took, both panoramic and rotating images will be made available this week online, which also includes a selection to Google Maps. This is to educate the masses that exploring the ecosystems of the world is still difficult and expensive to maintain.
So far, they have been able to produce about 400,000 photos from the reefs off the Caribbean and Australia, but it will be the first time such technology is utilized in the US waters. The images taken will add more data to the ones that have already collected, which will define the failures and successes of restoring the corals. They will also assist the scientist in studying the effects of climate change such as the warming temperatures of the ocean, hurricanes on the reefs, pollution and many more.
It is certainly educational, as it will give people, who cannot swim underwater or do not have access to it, an idea what the scientists mean. They will put up special preservation areas at particular spots in the sea, which will be shown through Google Maps, according to Mitchell Tartt, a chief officer from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.
The cameras that are used to capture the underwater views are the same ones used to produce the images for Google Street View. It is a spherical-shaped triple lens SVII camera that is mounted on a car. Instead of using the car, they attach the camera to the scuba divers then powered through its waters by the small motors. There are smaller versions too, which are attached to tripods but still tested in the Florida Keys.