Google Maps Go Underwater

It wasn't long ago that people marveled as they toured their neighborhoods on Google Earth, but now Google has gone even "deeper." 

On Tuesday, the company added the very first underwater panorama images to Google Maps. 

"Now, anyone can become the next virtual Jacques Cousteau and dive with sea turtles, fish and manta rays in Australia, the Phillippines and Hawaii," Google wrote on its blog. The project started off in these three places, but the vision is much more ambitious. 

To create the new panoramas, Google teamed up with members of the Caitlin Seaview Survey who are working to create a visual catalog of the world's oceans and reefs. The study aims to give visual documentation about the rapid state of decline of ocean habitats. To do so, the survey uses a revolutionary camera called the SVII. The SVII takes rapid-fire 360 degree shots every three seconds that are later stiched together. Only two of these cameras exist in the world.

Visit the Google Maps Gallery to check out the complete underwater collection.

Via Mashable.