The technology behind Google’s new underwater Street View – Austin Visuals 3D Animation Studio Reports

Taking a look behind Google’s new Underwater Street view. A lot of us have used Google’s Street View to vizualize destinations before we arrive.  More and more, though, it’s being used to take people places the might never be able to go in person — like underwater.  Now Google’s Street View includes a new partnership with Richard Vevers and Underwater Earth.  They have begun creating the full 360-degree views of coral reefs needed to make them part of the Street View experience.  During a session at Google I/O, Vevers explained to us that “People don’t value what they can’t experience.  Coral reefs are disappearing and need help.  By sharing them through Street View we hope to generate interest and awareness, encouraging their preservation.”  As an additional benefit, the great volume of data being collected by this project will also serve an important function as a scientific baseline for future studies of how these reefs, and other sensitive ocean areas are faring.

 

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Because of the way lenses behave underwater, though, Street View requires some fancy engineering.  The team needed to design an interesting camera rig (pictured above).  Using three cameras that shoot in a very wide angle, the current Seaview cameras (also known as SVII) can capture left and right images that can then be merged into a 360-degree panorama.  Another camera takes a direct downward image which is used for compatibility with existing scientific databases.

As you might expect, underwater Street View requires some fancy engineering. Because of the way lenses behave underwater, the team needed to design a new camera rig. By using three very-wide-angle-equipped cameras, the current Seaview cameras — dubbed SVII — can capture left and right images that are merged into a 360-degree panorama, as well as a direct downward image. The downward image is used for compatibility with existing scientific databases, which are primarily composed of images taken by shooting straight down.

There is one underwater Street View below.  To see the full collection, go to  Google’s Ocean Street View website:  http://maps.google.com/help/maps/streetview/gallery/ocean/index.html

Click Here to view Google Underwater View.

 

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