Skip to main content

Explore the other 70 percent of the Earth’s surface with Google Ocean Street View

Documenting the ocean with underwater Street View
Don’t have the time to take a real vacation? Take a virtual one instead with Google Ocean Street View, which now allows users to explore the oceans that cover 70 percent of Earth’s surface, all without getting wet or even putting on a bathing suit. And while a trip to the Great Barrier Reef might set you back thousands of dollars, this latest Google feature lets you do it all for free, though you may have to make the trip after seeing some of the stunning images the search engine has collected.

The Ocean Street View is a joint collaboration among the Catlin Seaview Survey, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Chagos Conservation Trust, who have given Google some truly spectacular pictures to work with. The ultimate purpose of the initiative is to raise awareness and interest about the vast, blue unknown. To this day, 95 percent of the world’s oceans remain unexplored, but with this new version of Street View, the average Googler is given the opportunity to explore at least a small fraction of the waters on their own.

Related Videos

A spokesperson for the company told TechCrunch, “Despite the ocean’s vital importance, the ocean is changing at a rapid rate due to climate change, pollution, and overfishing, making it one of the most serious environmental issues we face today. Google is committed to exploring and preserving the ocean by creating new technologies to help document the state of the ocean today and how it changes in years to come.”

More than 40 new Street View locations (all underwater!) have been added with this latest update, making it the biggest series of additions since Google first introduced the feature in 2012. Humpback whales, parrot fish of Bali, and American Samoan beaches have all been captured for you to explore at your leisure, from the comfort of your own home.

So whether you’re scoping out your next vacation spot or just taking a mini-vacation from your desk, Google’s Ocean Street Views is probably the coolest way to do it.

Editors' Recommendations

Google showcases natural underwater beauty in new Street View images
new google street view underwater images 1

Turns out, you can use Google's Street View for more than just exploring the actual street. Street View could already be used to explore underwater locations, but Google has expanded the feature to include a few new beautiful underwater destinations.

The new images, which are available in a Google Earth collection, aren't just there to help people explore the beauty that's under the ocean -- they're also aimed at reminding users of the impact that humans have had on the environment. Just as there are bright, vivid corals and beautiful underwater landscapes, the images also show bleached and dying coral, plastic, and so on.

Read more
Google’s new Trips site aims to help with all of your travel planning
Google Trips

Google launched a new online site called Trips, which consolidates its existing travel services into a single portal, making it easier to plan your travel itinerary -- from airline tickets to hotel reservations to travel packages -- directly from your desktop. Trips combines the advantages of the mobile Google Trips app, Google Flights, Google Hotels, and its search functionality for a streamlined experience that you can access from any device and pick up where you left off. You can start using the new portal by typing in a destination search term or "hotels in London" to access a wealth of information in one go.

Trips lets you access all booking information within your itinerary, including confirmation codes, and travel information as well as weather forecasts for your travel time. Google says this launch is the beginning of an evolution for its travel services, and that it plans tighter integration between Google Search, Google Maps, and additional services for the future.

Read more
Google’s Street View cars are helping build a giant map of global air pollution
Google wants to map the world's air quality. Here's how.
Google Street View Vehicle equipped with pollution tracking tech

You’re out on your first jog in more than a week. You’ve been running for maybe a half hour when you’re suddenly overcome by a shortness of breath. Your chest feels strangely tight, and as you breath you emit an odd rasping, wheezing noise. Is it your fitness level that’s faltering, you wonder, or could there be some external reason your body is responding like this.

You pull up Google Maps on your smartwatch. Along with a dot showing your present location, there’s also some contextual information about your surroundings, revealing that you’ve run into a section of town where air pollution levels are excessively high. Another app, drawing on this information and your own health data, suggests that the air quality levels might be triggering your asthma. With a couple of taps of the wrist, you reconfigure Google Maps and plot a route that will take you home via some parks where clean air is in ready supply.

Read more