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Google swims with the fishes

Maps now offer FishView, intentionally

Underwater battle in Thunderball, choreographed by Ricou Browning

Perhaps inspired by the tourists who followed their Satnav and drove into the sea, Google has lugged cameras beneath the waves and added the results to the StreetView service.

Google Ocean, as the new service is called, allows users to swim with the fishes. And turtles. And the occasional manta ray, for good measure.

Described in a blog post written in the usual happy-ese, the new service isn't Google's most comprehensive effort as it only covers a handful of locations in Australia, Hawaii and The Philippines. Nor is the service elegant: one can view the sites from this Google Oceans link, but if you click out of 'FishView' into the map there's no obvious way to return the view beneath the waves.

The Chocolate Factory worked with the Catlin Seaview Survey to produce FishView using a camera called the "Seaview SVII". Just two such devices exist, both powered by a Samsung Galaxy Tab and possessing all sorts of underwater wizardry that makes them capable of capturing submarine shots and stitching them together as panoramas.

The Seaview SVII camera

Apple may also have some images of underwater locations in its new iOS 6 maps app. Google, however, did so intentionally. ®

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