Blog about Underwater Life and Scuba Diving

‘Virtual diving’ Very Close to Reality

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Breaking news for those who truly appreciate the incredible beauty and splendor beneath the waters; many scuba divers throughout the world and marine conservationists soon will cooperate with Google and its partners to be included in the most original and special survey of the Great Barrier Reef ever undertaken.

Tens of thousands of 360-degree high definition panoramas of underwater forests, amazing grasslands and crags will be taken by robot cameras and made available online, which will rise global attention towards the health and composition of the 2,300 km long reef.

The scientist and the people working on this huge project hope that through the virtual scuba diving people will showcase a deeper interest on climate change, deep-water ecology and many other important problems that very often are just avoided.

It was revealed during the World Ocean Summit in Singapore that this survey is sponsored by the UK-based insurance company Catlin and they cooperate with different institutions and scientists from University Queensland. It was announced that the expedition will start in September and the images will be available soon on YouTube and Panoramio, as well as on Google Earth and Google Maps.

Hoegh-Guldberg mentioned that this project will enable millions of people experience the life, the science and the magic that exists deep in ocean. The study will focus on three areas: shallow reefs will be captured in colorful 360-degree panoramas, deep reefs will be shown in more limited detail due to the lack of light, and there will also be an effort to track the migration and breeding patterns of manta rays, tiger sharks and green turtles.

The cost of the project has not been disclosed but the sponsors think that it can be expanded to underwater environments elsewhere in the world.

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