Catlin Seaview Survey
The Catlin Seaview Survey marks the launch of a pioneering scientific expedition that aims to carry out the first comprehensive study to document and reveal the composition and health of coral reefs on the Great Barrier Reef across an unprecedented depth range (0-100m). The Survey is not just another scientific expedition – it aims to capture the public’s imagination and engage people with the science like never before. The Catlin Seaview Survey camera, developed specifically for the expedition, will capture thousands of 360-degree underwater panoramas which, when stitched together, will allow people to choose a location, dip underwater and go for a virtual dive at all of the locations visited by the expedition.
Panoramas accessible on Google Earth and Google Maps
Google is collaborating with the Catlin Seaview Survey and is working on a new feature on Panoramio (which links photos to locations), so that the 360-degree panorama images can be uploaded and made available to millions of people worldwide. This will eventually mean that roughly 50,000 panoramas from the Survey will be accessible on Google Earth and Google Maps. The project will also have a dedicated YouTube channel and the ability to broadcast Hangouts on air, which allows people to watch live streams of the expedition team from the ocean floor.
Bridging gap between scientific knowledge and public awareness
Chief Scientist for the project, Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg from the Global Change institute at The University of Queensland said that the scientific data gathered during the project will strengthen the understanding about how climate change and other environmental changes are likely to affect ocean ecosystems like the Great Barrier Reef. He stressed that the visual nature of the project will also help bridge the gap between scientific knowledge and public awareness.
One of the last frontiers on Earth: the oceans
“The Catlin Seaview Survey comprises a series of studies which will reveal to the public one of the last frontiers on Earth: the oceans. For the first time in history, we have the technology available to broadcast the findings and expedition through Google. Millions of people will be able to experience the life, the science and the magic that exists under the surface of our oceans. This project is very exciting.” The Catlin Seaview Survey will include a shallow reef survey, a deep reef survey and a mega-fauna survey, which combined will provide a baseline assessment of the composition, biodiversity and wellbeing of the Reef. The expedition will launch on the Great Barrier Reef in September 2012.
Read more about the Catlin Seaview Survey
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