Google launches Street View for fish

Google has launched Ocean Showcase, a set of interactive underwater tours for Google Earth users.

National Geographic explorer Sylvia Earle narrates a tour through highlights of the Explore the Ocean layer in Google Earth. Users can pause the tour at any time to watch videos of the surrounding areas and marine animals.

The Ocean Showcase tours also include dive and surf sites  and,  along with a tour with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, as its Western Flyer research ship works off the US west coast.

There’s a video-enhanced shipwreck tour courtesy of Shipwreck Central, and even an NOAA underwater tour of the Great Lakes with a special feature on Lake Superior.

“Anyone can be a desktop Cousteau,” says product manager Jenifer Austin Foulkes. “To take the plunge, download any tour and open it in Google Earth, where you can explore many more exciting ocean photos and videos by checking the Ocean folder in the left-hand layers panel.”

The tours build on Google Earth 5’s inclusion of ocean data this time last year’ which for the first time allowed users to view images beneath the ocean surface.

The company says it welcomes more contributions to the site.