Australia's Great Barrier Reef opens to the public in a very different way today. Google has partnered with the University of Queensland and insurance firm Catlin Group to produce a Street View version of Australia's famous reef, for web users to venture around. A number of samples have been taken and the results are available to see at seaview.org, offering a glimpse at parts of the world's largest coral reef system.

The project will kick off fully in September, when three surveys at 20 points of the Great Barrier Reef will take place. Footage from the surveys will be uploaded to the Seaview site, giving web users an even closer look at the underwater world. For now, there are eight different points of interest to browse around on Seaview. The project is made possible thanks to a 360-degree camera (developed by Catlin) on a motorized underwater scooter, providing similar imagery to Google's Street View service for roads. It is an interesting, if limited, look at the beauty that lies beneath our shores, and an indicator of how Google's Street View influence is pushing the technology into other areas of the planet.