Exploring the Ocean Now Easier through Google Ocean Street View

July 28, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. explore / ɪkˈsplɔr / (v.) – to travel to discover or learn something about a place
Example: Some scuba divers are paid to explore the ocean.

2. direction / dɪˈrɛk ʃən / (n.) – the path where something moves or goes
Example: The ship went in the wrong direction.

3. dive / daɪv / (v.) – to swim underwater, especially at a deeper level
Example: He dives twice a day to observe corals.

4. awareness / əˈwɛər nɪs / (n.) – the state of being informed about a certain matter
Example: The non-profit organization aims to promote awareness about the state of the ocean.

5. vital / ˈvaɪt l / (adj.) – referring to something that is very important
Example: Swimming is a vital skill to learn.


Read the text below.
Google’s Ocean Street View now allows people to explore the ocean without leaving their homes.

Google launched this feature in 2012. The photos on the Ocean Street View are from the Catlin [KAT-lin] Seaview Survey, the US National Oceanic [oh-shee-AN-ik] and Atmospheric Administration, and the Chagos [CHA-guh s] Conservation Trust. Recently, Google added over 40 new underwater locations to this feature.

To get images for this feature, divers use cameras with wider-angle lenses. The device they use contains three cameras that capture photos from different directions every three seconds. To control the device, divers use a tablet. For every two kilometers, divers take around 3,000 to 4,000 shots for each camera. Divers stay underwater for about an hour and dive three times a day.

Currently, a system that can take pictures without the help of divers and can stay underwater for more than 12 hours is already available. However, the system still needs to be modified, as the Ocean Street View requires a special camera system. Should this system be ready, Google would be able to easily collect underwater photos.

Google created this feature to promote awareness about the ocean. Google’s spokesperson told TechCrunch, a technology news website, that Google will do what it can to help preserve the ocean using its advanced technology. Google specifically pledged to help monitor and document the changes happening in the oceans due to worsening climate change, one of most vital environmental issues today. 

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think Google will succeed in promoting awareness about the ocean through the Ocean Street View? Why or why not?
·         How do you think the Ocean Street View can be useful?

Discussion B

·         Why is it important to promote awareness about the ocean?
·         Do you think oceans will still be “healthy” decades from now? Why or why not?

July 28, 2015