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The Catlin Seaview Survey will be taking thousands of 360 degree panoramas of the Great Barrier Reef, not just for science, but so that every person with an internet connection can experience the world's largest structure...at least virtually.

The partnership with Google will bring these images into Google Maps, Google Earth, Panoramio and, of course, YouTube.

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It's pretty cool that nowadays we can use Google Street View to walk down streets from Amsterdam to Arkansas without a second thought (at least virtually.) But there is some pretty amazing strategic partnerships; Google is now going to be bringing nature to us as well.

Google is partnering with the University of Queensland's Global Change Institute, a non-profit organization called Underwater Earth, and an insurance company called Caitlin to bring Google Street View to the worlds largest reef, the Great Barrier Reef. These organizations have worked together to develop an underwater camera that's actually kind of also a submersible vehicle, and it will be taking thousands of three hundred and sixty degree panoramas of the Great Barrier Reef. Stitching these together along with some GPS data will allow anyone with an internet connection to basically go take a dip in the Great Barrier Reef.

So basically I feel the way about this project that the eHarmony cat lady feels about cats. It kinda... it a little bit makes me wanna cry. I mean, I am probably never gonna get anywhere near the Great Barrier Reef. In all likeliness, neither are you, and that's just a fact of life. The world is big and we can't go everywhere. But now, you and I (if you're not one of the lucky ones) will be able to at least get a glimpse of what it's like to be submerged among what is, in actuality, the world's largest structure made by living things. That's right, we do not hold that title. Coral holds that title.

Of course this is not being done for my personal amusement; there's a scientific focus. Scientists will be able to use these extremely detailed photographs to keep track of the reef's health, its growth. And the photographs will also be used to help conduct a large animal survey; they'll be tracking tiger sharks, manta rays, and sea turtles. The fact is that we know a lot more about how climate change is affecting life on land than we do about how it's affecting life in water, and the ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef is one of the most complicated, important and delicate on the planet.

The project has already begun, though it was somewhat in secret, which is quite cool, and you can track through some of the photographs that they've already taken at cantlinseaviewsurvey.com, but soon the photographs will be integrated with Google Earth, with Google maps, with Panoramio, and of course they have a YouTube channel which we've already subscribed to. You should too!

And speaking of subscribing, you can subscribe to SciShow, where you will always be getting new news about cool things that are happening with science and nature and technology, and you can do that at youtube.com/scishow. Thank you, and I will see you soon.