Next Google ‘Street View’-style frontier? The ocean

In this Aug, 6, 2014 photo provided by Catlin Seaview Survey, Catlin's Christophe Bailhache surveys "Christ of the Abyss," with SVII cameras off the coast of Key Largo, Fla. U.S. government scientists hope people will soon be able to go online and get a 360-degree view of reefs and other underwater wonders, much like Google Map’s “street view” lets people look at homes. (AP Photo/Catlin Seaview Survey)
In this Aug, 6, 2014 photo provided by Catlin Seaview Survey, Catlin's Christophe Bailhache surveys "Christ of the Abyss," with SVII cameras off the coast of Key Largo, Fla. U.S. government scientists hope people will soon be able to go online and get a 360-degree view of reefs and other underwater wonders, much like Google Map’s “street view” lets people look at homes. (AP Photo/Catlin Seaview Survey)

ISLAMORADA, Fla. (AP) – US government scientists hope people will soon be able to go online and get a 360-degree view of reefs and other underwater wonders, much like Google map’s “street view” lets people look at homes.

This week, scientists are learning to use underwater cameras in the Florida Keys in the hopes of applying 360-degree mapping to research and manage marine sanctuaries nationwide.

Some of the rotating and panoramic images will be available online as early as this week, opening a window into ecosystems still difficult and costly to explore for long stretches of time.

About 400,000 images have been produced so far of reefs off Australia and in the Caribbean, but this is the first time the technology is being used in US waters.

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