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Google to Create Underwater Roadmap of Great Barrier Reef

Posted by on Friday, February 24th, 2012

Aquatic architecture is usually quite a bit more complicated than you might initially think. Even if you do whatever it takes to make a building float, you’ll need to figure out a lot of other details in order to make the building functional. What about the building’s plumbing or power source? How can people get to it, and what prevents it from floating aimlessly through the world’s oceans?

We tend to take our infrastructure for granted, as the common features of terrestrial life are so ubiquitous that it can be hard to imagine a place without them. When you’re dealing with aquatic architecture, the very real problems of things like power sources and food supply are tremendously important for floating or submerged structures. If you build a community in the ocean, that community will need a source of power.

Resources at Sea

Image: Scientific America

One great example of a common and vital piece infrastructure here on land are road maps. When you want to figure out how to get from point A to point B, there are perfectly accurate maps that are to scale and contain up-to-date information about the world. Those of you with a smart phone can link up to satellites in space to give you information about your surroundings based on programs such as Google Maps. Unfortunately, Google Maps isn’t quite as detailed when it comes to the vast ocean.

The Great Barrier Reef

Wayfaring

Well, until now. Google has recently announced their plans to work with the University of Queensland and the Caitlin Group to explore Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and chart its wonders for viewers across the world. Known as Seaview, this project will bring this hidden and beautiful world to life. With the use of special 360° cameras that are propelled by diver-controlled devices, Google will be able to record new and valuable data about the world’s most amazing natural reef.

Google Underwater Survey Machine

Image: Digital Spy

Of course, scientists aren’t the only people who will benefit from the research. Google will post these dives on sites such as YouTube for anybody to enjoy. Eventually, we might even be able to come to expect a map that users can explore similar to the street views of Google Maps.

Google Seaview Camera

Image: Digital Spy

While this project doesn’t qualify as aquatic architecture in the strictest sense, it’s certainly relevant to architect firms like Baca Architects because Google is helping to map out the infrastructure that could eventually lead to aquatic housing environments.

Underwater Survey Device and Operator

Image: Digital Spy

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