'Underwater Streetview' to help understand coral reefs

19 August 2013
By Tereza Pultarova
Mobile version
Share |
Google and the Catlin Seaview Survey have started the underwater seaview project this year to monitor world's coral reefs

Google and the Catlin Seaview Survey have started the underwater seaview project this year to monitor world's coral reefs [Credit: Google]

Australian researchers are gathering data about the state of world’s coral reefs using a new Google platform dubbed 'Underwater Streetview'.

By relying on the new platform launched by Google Maps this year in cooperation with the Catlin Seaview Survey, the team led by Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg of the University of Queensland, aims at engaging the public to help gather information about the state of coral reefs affected by climate change.

“Only 1 per cent of humanity has ever dived on a coral reef and by making the experience easily accessible, the survey will help alert millions of people around the world to the plight of coral reefs,” said Professor Hoegh-Guldberg.

Google’s underwater streetview format uses 360° panoramas captured by a special camera built by the Catlin Seaview Survey researchers. Using this technology, the team of Professor Hoegh-Guldberg has already mapped Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in great detail. Together with computer-based recognition tools, the platform enables the researchers to automatically assess the creatures on the seabed.

“This new technology allows us to rapidly understand the distribution and abundance of key organisms such as corals at large scales. Our expeditions in 2012 to the Great Barrier Reef recorded over 150 km of reef-scape using these methods,” he says.

Apart from speeding up the data-gathering process, Professor Hoegh-Guldberg believes that encouraging the public to take part in the project would help to spread awareness about the dangers coral reefs are facing. “We are planning to involve online citizens to help us count a wide range of organisms that appear in the high-definition images. Anyone with access to a computer will be able to help us log creatures such as stingrays, turtles, fish and Crown of Thorns starfish,” he said.

Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg will present the projects and its findings at the Intecol conference – the world's largest ecology meeting – in London on 20 August 2013.

According to recent findings, the world’s coral reefs are suffering from high carbon dioxide levels and rising sea temperatures to which they fail to adapt. The results of computer simulations suggest that even the mildest climate-change scenario might prove lethal to these precious bio-systems.

“Worse still, our results show that even under the most moderate climate-change projections from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, most corals will struggle to survive and reefs will rapidly decalcify,” said Hoegh-Guldberg.

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1605

"We visit Barcelona, one of the smartest cities in the world, to find out what makes it so special. What does it look like and what is the future?"

E&T jobs

  • Senior Development Engineer, Electronics

    Premium job

    Helmet Integrated Systems / Gentex Corporation
    • Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire
    • Competitive

    We are an innovative, robust and fast growing business, whose main focus is to deliver continues improvement to existing products and offer new sol..

    • Recruiter: Helmet Integrated Systems / Gentex Corporation

    Apply for this job

  • Smart Grid Research Engineer

    Premium job

    University of Strathclyde
    • Cumbernauld, Glasgow
    • Grade: 6/7* £26,537 - £37,768*

    Work as part of a growing dynamic team on a wide range of technical projects with particular emphasis on experimental validation and testing

    • Recruiter: University of Strathclyde

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Asset Specialist

    Affinity Water
    • Hatfield, Hertfordshire

    Responsible for updating and writing electrical engineering standards, approved codes of practice and safe systems of work

    • Recruiter: Affinity Water

    Apply for this job

  • Senior Electronics Engineer

    York Instruments
    • York, North Yorkshire

    Senior electronics engineer to work as part of a team developing an MEG imaging system; working with the engineering team and external contractors.

    • Recruiter: York Instruments

    Apply for this job

  • Manufacturing Engineer - Circuit Card Assembly

    MBDA
    • Lostock Junction
    • Competitive Salary & Benefits

    What’s the opportunity?   Manufacturing UK is an integral part of the Operations Directorate whose principal mission is to ensure that MBDA’s deliverable commitments are met...

    • Recruiter: MBDA

    Apply for this job

  • High Voltage Engineer

    Premium job

    Essex X-Ray & Medical Equipment
    • Great Dunmow, Essex

    This High Voltage Engineer will provide design leadership for high voltage cable assemblies up to one megavolt.

    • Recruiter: Essex X-Ray & Medical Equipment

    Apply for this job

  • Team Leader - Flank Arrays

    BAE Systems
    • Barrow-In-Furness, Cumbria, England
    • Negotiable

    Team Leader - Flank Arrays Would you like to work in a unique role within the construction of the Astute Class submarines? We currently have a vacancy for a Team Leader - Flank Arrays at our site in Barrow-in-Furness. As a Team Leader - Flank Arrays, you

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Electronics and Software Engineer

    Copley Scientific Ltd
    • Nottingham
    • circa £35,000 per annum + bonus

    Develop new test equipment for the pharmaceutical industry. Good opportunities to grow and develop. Successful family-owned and managed business.

    • Recruiter: Copley Scientific Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Intelligent Transport Systems Engineer - Highways Technology

    Premium job

    Mott MacDonald
    • Birmingham, West Midlands

    Our transport technology team in Birmingham is currently growing a highly skilled and customer-focused team to...

    • Recruiter: Mott MacDonald

    Apply for this job

  • Analogue Electronics Engineer

    Premium job

    Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF)
    • Uppsala (Stad) (SE)

    The Swedish Institute of Space Institute (IRF) in Uppsala search for an analogue electronics engineer.

    • Recruiter: Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF)

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T