Being hailed as Google Street View for the Great Barrier Reef, the Catlin Seaview Survey will begin a comprehensive study of the natural world wonder in September of 2012. Using a special “squidlike” camera to capture 360-degree photos, the survey will be observing the effects of climate change on this very sensitive underwater ecosystem, as well as opening up the reef to the public. From their site:
The images from the expedition, when stitched together, will allow scientists and the public at large to explore the reef remotely through any device connected to the Internet. It will allow them to choose a location, dip underwater, look around and go off on a virtual dive. It has the potential of engaging people with the life and science of our oceans in a way that’s not been possible until now. It is a very exciting time.
Yes it is! Check out the demo.
Update 2018: The Catlin Seaview Survey dives have been added to Google Maps since this was written in 2012. Explore Wishbone Reef images from 2015 and much more.