Users can take a virtual underwater tour of the Great Barrier Reef, the Apo Island marine reserve and Molokini Crater by clicking on the online mapping service.
‘We’ve published images in seven continents, down the Amazon and in the Arctic,’ said Google Oceans Program manager Jenifer Austin Foulkes.
Google combined forces with the Catlin Seaview Survey scientific expedition in order to bring the images to users and the expedition organisers hope the pictures will convince more people to help protect the coral reef.
This is a critical decade for coral reefs,’ said Catlin project director Richard Vevers.
‘We need to be recording them as fast as we can and involving people to halt the decline, which is alarming at the moment.’
The expedition divers used a unique camera to shoot the panamoric photos that were then put together by Google and can now be viewed in a Street View online gallery.
‘With these vibrant and stunning photos you don’t have to be a scuba diver or even know how to swim to explore and experience six of the ocean’s most incredible living coral reefs,’ added Google Maps and Earth vice president Brian McClendon.
The special coral reef gallery can be viewed online atÂ maps.google.com/ocean.