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Underwater visuals of Great Barrier Reef to be seen online

Sydney , Fri, 24 Feb 2012 ANI

Sydney, Feb 24 (ANI): A new scientific survey will capture and upload on the web thousands of scenes from the Great Barrier Reef near Australia, in unprecedented detail.


The Catlin Seaview Survey aims to let public eavesdrop on its long-term study of the composition and health of the reef.


Using a new feature on Panoramio (which links photos to locations) about 50,000 360-degree panoramas will eventually be stitched together and uploaded to Google Earth and Google Maps.


The project will have a dedicated YouTube channel and viewers will be able to watch livestreams of the expedition team from the ocean floor.


The chief scientist for the project, Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg from the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland, said the project would increase scientific understanding and public awareness of how environmental changes are affecting the reef.


"For the first time in history, we have the technology available to broadcast the findings and expedition through Google," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted him as saying.


"Millions of people will be able to experience the life, the science and the magic that exists under the surface of our oceans," he said.


The expedition will use a custom-designed underwater vehicle to shoot images at 20 sites for the shallow reef survey, one of three parts of the expedition, which will be launched in September.


It will be combined with data from deeper waters and a megafauna survey, led by the Emmy award-winning cinematographer and shark researcher Richard Fitzpatrick, to provide a baseline assessment of the composition, biodiversity and well-being of the reef.


The megafauna survey will attach satellite tags to 50 animals such as sharks, turtles and rays to monitor their migratory behaviour and response to changing water temperatures.


The project's content will also be available at (ANI)


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