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Google Captures 'Street View' of Underwater Habitats

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the 2.5-kids-and-a-submarine dept.

Google 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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Sealab? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41463439)

Pod Six is JERKS!

Not so good (4, Interesting)

ccguy (1116865) | about 2 years ago | (#41463471)

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 (5, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 years ago | (#41463555)

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

Reduction of Carbon Footprint (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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...

Re:Reduction of Carbon Footprint (2)

LourensV (856614) | about 2 years ago | (#41464527)

And perhaps more importantly, that increased CO2 increases temperatures, which induces coral bleaching [wikipedia.org] , 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.

Re:Reduction of Carbon Footprint (1)

na1led (1030470) | about 2 years ago | (#41464595)

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 (5, Insightful)

saveferrousoxide (2566033) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Not so good (1)

boristdog (133725) | about 2 years ago | (#41464661)

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.

Re:Not so good (1)

Stiletto (12066) | about 2 years ago | (#41465375)

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 barrier, etc.
6. If you have kids, you have to figure out WTF you're going to do with them, or bring them along.

...or just click here and save yourself time, money, and hassle [wikipedia.org] .

I used to love traveling, back when I had no responsibilities, family or job. Now, it seems like such a waste of time and money.

Re:Not so good (1)

readin (838620) | about 2 years ago | (#41466303)

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 look like? Where do the people live? What does a country road look like and what kinds of houses and stores are on it? What does the vegetation look like (and not just the pretty vegetation)? What does a typical fjord look like (and not just the ones in national parks or the ones that have particularly pretty cities next to them)? I used to dream of touring places around the world. Then I lived overseas and lost interest. It wasn't because I didn't like living overseas. I loved it. But I discovered that visiting a place and experiencing a place and culture are completely different and I was really only interested in the latter. There just isn't time on a trip to get any idea of what the place is like. Street view gives me a smidgen of the experience of seeing the real place.

Re:Not so good (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41463731)

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 [etravelblackboard.com]

Re:Not so good (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 2 years ago | (#41463937)

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.

Re:Not so good (1)

nschubach (922175) | about 2 years ago | (#41465673)

Didn't you hear? They started hiring fashion models to work in TSA so you can at least try to enjoy getting felt up.

Re:Not so good (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 2 years ago | (#41482603)

Oh...

Can I still have the pegasus?

Re:Not so good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41463983)

It can work the other way around too.

I am going to add the great barrier reef at top of my list to travel, after looking at this. I want to walk that walk in person, on the spot. Thanks to Google.

Re:Not so good (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 years ago | (#41464211)

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

Re:Not so good (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#41464487)

Just uninstall Flash.

And Google Earth.

Re:Not so good (1)

quacking duck (607555) | about 2 years ago | (#41465497)

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.

Re:Not so good (2)

NorthWestFLNative (973147) | about 2 years ago | (#41464231)

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 [wikipedia.org] 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 a bad thing.

Re:Not so good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41473659)

As a scuba diver I have to say, the experience is not the same.

I hear you bro.

As a pimp I have to say, the experience is not the same. Static images don't give you enough information or the same feel as being on top of her in person. You can't see (or experience) Ponyplay [wikipedia.org] from pictures. You can't experience the sensation of floating on a cheap motel waterbed while watching her walk back and forth on your crotch. 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 a bad thing.

Re:Not so good (1)

SoothingMist (1517119) | about 2 years ago | (#41464319)

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.

Re:Not so good (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 2 years ago | (#41464403)

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 experience something with other people around when you can sit in your dark room and stare at a small, luminous screen with everything at your fingertips.

Re:Not so good (1)

na1led (1030470) | about 2 years ago | (#41464541)

Soon the only way to see these coral reefs will be through Google. Enjoy now before its gone.

Re:Not so good (1)

jrroche (1937546) | about 2 years ago | (#41464717)

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.

Re:Not so good (1)

Coop (9778) | about 2 years ago | (#41464819)

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.

Re:Not so good (1)

Crispy Critters (226798) | about 2 years ago | (#41465007)

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.

Re:Not so good (1)

RKBA (622932) | about 2 years ago | (#41465043)

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!

Re:Not so good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41465477)

I'm starting to think that street view is really starting to mess with tourism.

I'm sure someone had the same fears when picture postcards were invented.

"Oh no, friends and neighbors of tourists won't have any reason to come here since they can get a pristine image of our landmark with a personal note on the back and sent through the mail for 3 cents!"

And the same with color cameras, then video cameras, then travelblogs...

People who want to see something may be satisfied with this, but they'd probably be satisfied with photos from friends or low resolution pics on the tourism website. People who want to go there will go there, and the photos will be like appetizers.

Re:Not so good (1)

firewrought (36952) | about 2 years ago | (#41465897)

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 real opportunity to sense just how large this world of ours is...

What I know is, it's definitely an awesome tool for travel planning. I've used it to find obscure turnoffs, determine how close hotels are to pedestrian districts, and to "practice" driving on the wrong side of the road. Sometimes Google Maps isn't enough to really give you sense of where the action is, and Street View helps compensate for that.

(Unrelated gripe: it would be nice if the arrow overlays could be used to "drive" down a road, but most of the time it's impractical because each click moves you a very short distance--like 20 feet or so.)

Re:Not so good (1)

Phusion (58405) | about 2 years ago | (#41466683)

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

Re:Not so good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41468375)

What rubbish. Firstly maps, travel books and magazines have for years given you insight on places for years to lessen the surprise of actually visiting. Secondly they actually are the things that would inspire most people to want to visit. I often do armchair travelling for a little escape. I just wish I had the resources to jump on the plane. Most places I have been that I revisit via street view only makes me wish I could go back to explore some more!

Re:Not so good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41468925)

Truly a selfish perspective. Not only images won't match real life for most people, images will be poor man tourism.

Re:Not so good (1)

chrismcb (983081) | about 2 years ago | (#41473699)

Sweet, more room for me, and less people to get in the way of my photos!

Your move, Apple. (3, Funny)

radiumsoup (741987) | about 2 years ago | (#41463547)

Your move, Apple.

Re:Your move, Apple. (5, Funny)

Rhaban (987410) | about 2 years ago | (#41463625)

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

Re:Your move, Apple. (0)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41463779)

Underwater habitats [discoverhi...travel.com] ...

Re:Your move, Apple. (4, Funny)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Your move, Apple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41464833)

Wow... Is it sad that i actually thought you were being serious until i google'd the patent numbers?

Re:Your move, Apple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41466769)

I like to think they stole from me. ;)

Shedd (and others) should have a few ROV's put in the ocean on a reef somewhere. Each one should have HD cameras in it and a power/data umbilical to a shared, anchored buoy, then back to nearby shore station. Then set up piloting caves at aquariums far from oceans. It'd be like dive simulators, but real control and video. I think that'd be pretty cool.

Though that was only Sep 4th, so they'd probably already done all the leg work on this by then. Jerks. Here's to hoping they work out the rest... I think that'd be pretty great.

Re:Your move, Apple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41464127)

Slashdot, October 1:
Apple Reportedly Luring Ex-Google Scuba Divers With Jobs

Re:Your move, Apple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41464699)

I tried to see what you did there. But the view wasn't good enough.

That ain't a real starfish! (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#41463579)

> underwater 'street view'

Watch out for the naked clown fish.

Damn it! (4, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 2 years ago | (#41463685)

I want my home pixelated!

-Signed, a mollusc.

Re:Damn it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41464453)

Did they snoop for wi-fi signals?

Re:Damn it! (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#41470107)

Don't worry. It said 'Address is Approximate' - they'll never be able to find you.

I misread (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41463841)

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

Re:I misread (2)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 2 years ago | (#41463959)

Gulf of Tolkien

Wait, wasn't that incident what started the whole Middle Earth war?

Re:I misread (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#41464523)

nah, it was an ancient and mostly failed LAN networking standard, 802.4, aka tolkien bus.

Re:I misread (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41467365)

You had your chance and blew it! It's 802.5, tolkien ring...

Re:I misread (1)

dpilot (134227) | about 2 years ago | (#41464579)

Don't you mean "wasn't that the concocted and overblown incident used as an excuse to start the whole Middle Earth war?"

IOS6 Version (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41464199)

Apple have recently launched their underwater version of maps.

Can't see nothing as it's all obscured by water!

What's next? (1)

RNLockwood (224353) | about 2 years ago | (#41464481)

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

Re:What's next? (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#41464961)

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 up - there are several spots where the trail does that).

Whereas underwater, you can move at closer to boat speed.

Re:What's next? (1)

RNLockwood (224353) | about 2 years ago | (#41467375)

I agree, it's clear in retrospect.

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

Re:What's next? (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 2 years ago | (#41467965)

Well, the cars seem to be able to do it faster than 120 feet per hour...

Re:What's next? (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#41469019)

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.

Re:What's next? (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 2 years ago | (#41469439)

okay.. and having a ruggedized cart or backpack isn't at all an option...

Re:What's next? (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#41477395)

The cart would have a tough time: Try taking a cart along this [franklinsites.com] or this [atwaterboy.com] . 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.

For those who can never go wonderful! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:For those who can never go wonderful! (2)

Stiletto (12066) | about 2 years ago | (#41465237)

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.

ala Google Backpacks program? (2)

milbournosphere (1273186) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:ala Google Backpacks program? (1)

weiserfireman (917228) | about 2 years ago | (#41465681)

I learned to dive in San Diego. Some of my favorite dives ever are in the San Diego Area

What, no Venice? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41465399)

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

Titanic, for example (1)

ntropia (939502) | about 2 years ago | (#41465499)

Something similar to this should be applied to the Titanic before the iron-eating bug [slashdot.org] will be done.

Underwater? Finally! (1)

SlideRuleGuy (987445) | about 2 years ago | (#41469967)

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

Self diving car? (1)

bWareiWare.co.uk (660144) | about 2 years ago | (#41476807)

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

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