Curaçao’s coral reef, among the most beautiful in the world, can soon be seen via the popular Google Maps ‘virtual diving’ platform. The Catlin Seaview research team (an underwater film crew) has spent several weeks in April 2013 surveying and photographing Curaçao’s reef for Google as well as collecting scientific data to be utilized in future reef research. In addition to traditional dives, the research team utilized the popular tourist attraction, the submarine “Substation Curacao” to capture (deeper) footage. Over one third of the Curaçao’s coral has been filmed, at varying depths, from 30 to 300 feet. Curaçao’s coral reef is the second reef to be captured in this way; the first was the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Catlin Seaview’s strong long-standing relationship with Curaçao-based organization CARMABI (Caribbean Research and Management of Biodiversity) played a significant role in the selection process.
“Of course, Curaçao does not have a ‘streetview’ (the possibility to see 360 degrees-panoramas in Google Earth from a location in the vicinity) via Google Maps on land, like the Netherlands and America has, but it will now have an underwater view, said a coordinator of the research team, marine biologist Pim Bongaerts enthusiastically.
“An important aspect is of course that the world population has access to these pictures, for which Google Maps is the ideal platform. To a large extent it’s also about increasing the world-wide awareness of the condition of coral reefs and the existing special underwater-ecosystems”, said second coordinator of the project, Manuel Gonzalez.
Examples of Google’s New Underwater Great Barrier Reef maps:
Can’t wait to see what Google has in store for “underwater Curaçao”!
Want to dive in Curaçao? Check out Curaçao’s awesome Twin Divers!