CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicagoans can get an up-close look at shipwrecks sunk far below the surface of Lake Huron, hundreds of miles away, without ever leaving the Windy City, thanks to new 3-D models of the ships.

For years, people have flocked to Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary on Lake Huron in Northeast Michigan, to get a view of sunken ships.

“We estimate there’s at least 200 of these historic shipwrecks in and around the sanctuary, and these shipwrecks range from your old wooden schooners – dating back to the early 1800s – up to huge steel freighters,” said marine archaeologist Stephanie Gandulla.

Visitors can take a glass bottom boat tour to see the wrecks on the lake floor, but now people who can’t make the six-hour drive from Chicago to Thunder Bay can go online to see 3-D models off the sunken ships.

Marine archaeologists used new photo software technology to create the 3-D views.

“It just comes to life in those 3-D models,” Gandulla said. “It is nice and clear, and it’s really like you’re looking at the shipwreck under the water.”

She said the ships have been well preserved by Lake Huron’s fresh water.