Google partners with the UQ Global Change Institute to photograph and map out the health of coral on the national landmark.
Google is bringing Australia’s Great Barrier Reef to the comfort of your own home. The tech giant has recently launched a joint project with the UQ Global Change Institute, the Underwater Earth NGO and the Catlin Seaview Survey to create a “street view” of the iconic reef. Available on seaview.org, the photographs and maps offer visitors a unique glimpse of the world’s largest coral reef system.
Plans to conduct surveys at 20 different points of the Great Barrier Reef are set to kick off this coming September. In the meantime, the website will feature behind-the-scenes footage–via Youtube and other Google sites–of the surveying process. Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, chief scientist of the Catlin Seaview Survey explains the project:
There are a whole series of ways of using the imagery and ultimately this is bridging a gap between science and public awareness.
The technology behind this project lies in the camera attached to an underwater vehicle that will take thousands of 360-degree panoramic images from the entire 2,300 km length of the reef. In addition, there will be special robotic cameras to survey depths between 30 meters and 100 meters, a region scientists know little about. The project hopes to help the public better understand the impact of climate change on the reef as well as assist scientists in conducting regular surveys of marine animals.