MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — It is now possible to explore oceans around the world without getting wet.
Google Street View released new imagery of 40 locations around the world in honor of World Oceans Day. The company has been working with Underwater Earth and XL Catlin Seaview Survey for the past four years to “create a digital record of the ocean.”
“With just one click, you can swim underwater alongside some of the most wondrous and exotic creatures, including a sea turtle in the Solomon Islands, humpback whales in the Cook Islands, great white sharks in Australia, and the huge and mysterious sunfish (Mola mola) in Bali,” a Google Maps blog post reads.
The images were released in the hope that they will inspire people to learn more about the ocean, which is increasingly threatened by factors like pollution and overfishing, according to the blog post.
Google and its partners, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and Chagos Conservation Trust, use the images to track how the ocean changes.
“Mapping the ocean is key to preserving it,” the post reads. “Each image in Google Maps is a GPS-located digital record of these underwater and coastal environments, which can be used as a baseline to monitor change over time.”