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Google Australia Earth Technology

Google Captures 'Street View' of Underwater Habitats 66

hypnosec writes "Google has released the first-ever underwater 'street view' images of some of the world's most famous undersea locations — the Great Barrier Reef, Hawaii's Hanauma Bay, and Apo Island in the Philippines. Google collaborated with Caitlin Seaview Survey using a specialized SVII camera to capture the amazing underwater images. The camera travels at 2.5 mph, capturing a 360-degree panorama with geolocation information and a compass heading every 3 seconds." Check it out.
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Google Captures 'Street View' of Underwater Habitats

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  • Not so good (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ccguy ( 1116865 ) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @09:56AM (#41463471) Homepage
    From TFA: "The search engine giant said that with these images, people wouldn’t need to travel to these locations or learn to scuba dive or learn to swim for that matter in order to explore these amazing locations."

    I'm starting to think that street view is really starting to mess with tourism. At least repeat visitors. I worked in Tel-Aviv around 15 years ago, always wanted to come back for a visit, but once the street-view'ed the city and I was able to check out where I lived, worked, and so on I just though "pretty much the same" and closed the browser.

    This 'check everything' from home will soon take a hit on the beauty of traveling, and being places worth seeing.
    • Re:Not so good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @10:02AM (#41463555) Homepage Journal

      On the other side of the coin, that trip to tel aviv can now be replaced by going somewhere new.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @10:11AM (#41463657)

      Surely looking at Tel Aviv through an iPad with an especially low power draw would offset an awful lot of carbon that otherwise would have been spewed into the atmosphere by flying you there to reminisce...

      • And perhaps more importantly, that increased CO2 increases temperatures, which induces coral bleaching [], and it increases the oceans' acidity, which compounds the problem. At least 20% of the world's coral reefs have already been destroyed by climate change and other human activity. Since we're not doing anything to mitigate climate change, Google Maps may well end up the only place where our grandchildren will be able to see coral reefs. So kudos to Google and CSS for at least saving the view.
      • by na1led ( 1030470 )
        Like the movie Soylent Green. Google is saving all these footage's for the day you decide to end your life. Then you can watch how the world once was on a big screen, as they slowly put you down.
    • Re:Not so good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by saveferrousoxide ( 2566033 ) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @10:15AM (#41463711)
      Seeing these places in person will never be matched by seeing them on a monitor, no matter how good the resolution gets. What this does do is open up these places to a whole segment of the population without the means to get there. It's a much richer experience to "walk" down the street in street view and explore a bit on your own than to see a static picture from a fixed vantage point in a book.
      • I agree that it is better to see things in person. But not everyone can go everywhere.

        There may be a day when I am too infirm to travel, so just think of the "Imagination Vacations" I can take with Google (or whoever is big at that time) without leaving home. Heck, I do that now from my desk when I'm sick of working.

        • by Stiletto ( 12066 )

          To be honest, "real" travel is over-rated.

          1. You have to schedule time off from work. This can be extremely difficult if you work multiple jobs.
          2. You have to forgo the pay you would have gotten (unless you're lucky enough to have paid vacation).
          3. You have to plan the trip, book airline tickets, book hotels, book transportation, etc. or pay someone to do it.
          4. The expense of the above.
          5. If we're talking international travel, there's the hassle of getting a passport, visa, currency exchange, language barri

      • by readin ( 838620 )
        The other great thing about street view is you get a look at the real place rather than the just the tourist locations or just what someone wants you see. One of my favorite things to do with street view is pick a random spot to see what is there. After doing that several times I get a much better view of life there than I would from any tourist brochure or picture book. Far less than 1% of Japan is made up of historic temples and pagodas. I've seen those pictures. What does a typical neighborhood loo
    • This 'check everything' from home will soon take a hit on the beauty of traveling, and being places worth seeing.

      Some people won't mind []

    • beauty of traveling

      Unless you have a fluffy, intelligent pegasus I can travel around on that takes me from my house to my hotel via instantaneous wormholes that phrase does not compute.

    • Just uninstall Flash. Then you can't use street view. Now you have to travel!

      • Just uninstall Flash.

        And Google Earth.

      • Safari on my home Mac doesn't have Flash, and often displays the "Install Flash" message, especially on Youtube. But on several occasions it has inexplicably been able to go to Street View, with navigation and other controls working as expected. Right-clicking on the Street View confirms that it's not using Flash. There must be some trigger or URL parameter that makes it offer the non-Flash version, but I haven't looked too closely into it.

    • As a scuba diver I have to say, the experience is not the same. Static images don't give you enough information or the same feel as being there in person. You can't see (or experience) a cleaning station [] from pictures. You can't experience the sensation of floating in mid-water while watching a shark swim back and forth around a reef below you. You can't hear the sounds, feel the water.

      What it does do is give people the ability to see something that they may otherwise never experience in person. Never

    • If you really want to "see" a place and grow significantly from the experience, you have to live there and participate in the culture of its people. Living in an ex-pat community or looking at pictures just will not do it.
    • This 'check everything' from home will soon take a hit on the beauty of traveling, and being places worth seeing.

      If you believe what some on here write, they're too busy doing other things to go shopping for food or clothes, music, tvs, heck, just about everything, which is why they sit in their dark rooms and order everything via these interwebs. It's too much of a hassle to go out into the world and spend time interacting with other people.

      This is essentially the same thing. Why bother go and e
    • by na1led ( 1030470 )
      Soon the only way to see these coral reefs will be through Google. Enjoy now before its gone.
    • On the other hand, if enough people think like you do, tourist spots will become less crowded and the people who do want to see the world in person instead of on a monitor will have a better time.
    • by Coop ( 9778 )

      Such pictures may help people appreciate the oceans more, and Tel Aviv more too for that matter. Maybe we won't travel as much, but we may come to a greater appreciation of what we have.

    • All the people who travel and never look up except through the viewfinder of the camera can now stay home. All the people who clog museums taking photos of the art can now stay home. By all means let us devalue the trip of someone whose interest doesn't go much beyond, "Now I can say I went there." Make more room for those of us who are ready to open all our senses to new experiences and let our attention linger over details.
    • by RKBA ( 622932 )
      Comcast now offers a security service that puts cameras inside and outside your home and allows you to check your home from anywhere via the Internet, so you can even check on your own home without being there!
    • I'm starting to think that street view is really starting to mess with tourism.

      There's a HUGE chunk of the internet-connected world that can't afford to travel, and there's another large chunk of people who can maybe afford some travel but don't normally think of it. Something like Street View might give them a taste or awaken them to opportunities they never considered. Which could ultimately increase tourism. While we're speculating, let's ask what Street View might mean to some economically disadvantaged kid growing up in an ideological monoculture, eh? That might be their first re

    • by Phusion ( 58405 )

      On the up side, previously over crowded tourist spots will be less crowded and worth visiting again?

    • Sweet, more room for me, and less people to get in the way of my photos!
  • by radiumsoup ( 741987 ) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @10:02AM (#41463547)

    Your move, Apple.

    • by Rhaban ( 987410 ) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @10:08AM (#41463625)

      Apple was actually first on this, with their mapping of sub-oceanic starbucks.

    • by sl4shd0rk ( 755837 ) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @10:29AM (#41463895)

      Your move, Apple.

      In other news, hot-on-the-heels of Google's release of Underwater Street View, Apple has filed a preliminary injunction against USW claiming Google's use of the the terms "Street" and "Ocean" violate 14 of Apple's patents. Among them, Apple cites two in particular: patent 1345-B which covers the use of "Words relating to rectangular shape or design" and patent 3821-F "Color variations of AppleBlue-13 developed by Apple Inc". A preliminary hearing is set for Dec 13th 2012.

  • > underwater 'street view'

    Watch out for the naked clown fish.

  • Damn it! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Arancaytar ( 966377 ) <> on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @10:13AM (#41463685) Homepage

    I want my home pixelated!

    -Signed, a mollusc.

  • Thought it said Underwater Hobbits somewhere in the Gulf of Tolkien...

  • I had thought that the next "street-view" would be of popular and exotic hiking trails. I guess that's harder to pull off.

    • It's hard to move a camera along the more remote regions of, say, the Appalachian Trail. Consider that what you'd be asking for is for somebody to go 10 feet down the trail, stop, steady the camera, take a panoramic picture, walk another 10 feet, etc. If it takes 30 seconds to take a picture, that's approximately 4.2 hours to go 1 mile. Also particularly interesting would be the spots where stopping to take this picture puts you halfway up a rock face or wading through a pond (I'm not making those scenarios

      • I agree, it's clear in retrospect.

        I can't wait for my virtual underwater trip down the Mississippi with this technology! :-)

      • Well, the cars seem to be able to do it faster than 120 feet per hour...
        • Right, that's because the cameras are mounted on top of the car and set up to take pictures automatically. There's no way to do that on a footpath, because the only way you can move something in there is for somebody to carry it.

          • okay.. and having a ruggedized cart or backpack isn't at all an option...
            • The cart would have a tough time: Try taking a cart along this [] or this []. For a backpack, the problem is that the backpack is attached to the back of a person who has to stop for a while to steady and aim the camera.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @11:31AM (#41464681)

    I have worked in seniors facilities helping take care of shut ins and what Google has done with street view is a wonderful thing. There is nothing more satisfying than watching a 90 year old who was born in a Dublin slum cry as you walk them down the shanty streets where they grew up.

    Piss on all the fud that "Google is evil, you can't trust them with your data" that many anti Google paid shill "high tech pundits" are currently spreading.

    Sorry but in the real world what Google has done for those who can't get out is wonderful and beyond that think about how important it is to allow others to actually see your culture and how you live. If someone in China can look at a town in Northern Canada and see the actual poverty of Native Indians or see remote places and poor districts in Chicago I do not find it wrong. They will know that we as a people exist not that differently from them in their ghettos and slums. Is this really a bad thing?

    DO not for one second think that Google's street view is just about that which is perfect in the world. I would highly encourage Google to also use the underwater street view in a few places that would make some people cringe and take notice of what has happened to the environment where people are not just eco tourists as well.

    • by Stiletto ( 12066 )

      This is a great point. Before all this technology, you had to find paper photos of some place that other people took, or had to have the financial and physical means to actually go somewhere to see it. Google has opened up experiences to people who otherwise wouldn't have been able to take part.

  • by milbournosphere ( 1273186 ) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @11:36AM (#41464753)
    I think this is really cool. As a certified diver, I think it'd be a blast to help streetview-ify my local dive spots. Many locals have never even gone snorkeling in the local coves and beaches, much less diving in them; it could really help raise awareness of just how cool and awesome our local ecosystems are. Most people are amazed when they visit the local Scripps Aquarium and see just how much diversity is sitting just off of our coast in 60ft of water.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    For actual underwater streets, they ought to head to Italy!

  • I've always wanted to stroll down Main Street, Atlantis!

  • Somehow this would be more poetic if it resulted from a 'GPS Accident' with their self-driving cars.

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