Google Street View Sinks to New Lows and Rises Above the Clouds

Everyone knows that bright and vivid images of Stonehenge, the great pyramids, and even the North Pole are just a mouseclick away thanks to Google Map’s Street View. But now Google, in conjunction with the United States government, is going under the sea to allow net surfers the opportunity to break the ocean’s surface and visit the reefs and shipwrecks off the Florida coast.

In 2014, scientist with NOAA will begin getting a “fisheye” view as they dropped cameras into the waters of the Florida Keys. The researchers will release much of their visual findings to Google in an effort to increase public awareness about and spur interest in the marine world. Google hopes the partnership will help national agencies find support in their aquatic preservation efforts and shed light on the ecological struggles of the Earth’s oceans.

A corporate sponsor of the project, Google has previously acquired over 400,000 images of reefs off the Australian and Caribbean coasts. This new underwater image capturing technology has only recently been available in the United States.

In addition to the new high-definition underwater capabilities, Google’s satellite provider DigialGlobal, recently launched a new satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base. This launch has made tech news for having the highest resolution camera available on the market. The Worldview-3 is so powerful it can pinpoint a vehicle’s windshield and take a clear image of a license plate from orbit. The new satellite comes on the heels of the US government lifting commercial satellite imagery restrictions from 50 cm cameras to 31 cm resolution image sensors.

The ability to see anywhere in the world has become a reality thanks to this new technology that has helped bring a better understanding of how the global ecosystem works.

 

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