Yesterday at the Blue Ocean Film Festival in Monterey we got the chance to hear the latest about the ocean side of Google. Sylvia Earle stepped on stage to introduce the underwater mapping revolution underway, backed by the brilliant people from the Catlin Seaview Survey.
“Ignorance is the greatest threat to humanity” Sylvia eloquently continued her speech with “We have to be the luckiest people alive in the history of this planet , as we have hit the sweet spot for knowledge and technology”. And Technology is right, Catlin Seaview, a torpedo shaped underwater scooter apparatus armed with a 360 degree camera dome will bring to google map the street view option (we all use so much on land) to the underwater world!
In other words you will be able to drag, the now famous little orange man, underwater into different dive locations and coral reef areas around the world. Exploring the underwater world from the comfort of your living room (and most importantly classroom) will allow humanity to access, effortlessly and beautifully, the other 3/4 of our blue planet and hopefully fall in love with the blue.
“People protect what they love”- Captain Jacques Yves Cousteau
To bring further excitement to the table, the Seaview Survey Team mentioned that they will use Google Plus to reach out the community and organize Google Hangouts underwater. What followed was a clear example of the “sweet spot” Sylvia Earle mentioned earlier. On a big screen the team started to interact live (via google hangout) with an Australian scuba diver on the great barrier of reef. The diver was complaining a tad about the time there (3 am, it was 10 am in Monterey) but dove around the reef answered questions and managed to help us catch a glimpse of a majestic sea turtle. The entire room cheered impressed by the incredible reality we were now living in thanks to the Google team and Catlin Seaview Survey.
The seaview survey is a huge undertaking as it will take millions and millions of hour underwater to “photo map” the oceans. But Google maps will ,starting with the great barrier reef, integrate more and more dive site around the world for your underwater street view pleasure.