Friday, June 28, 2013

[G] Apply now to be the next Google Maps Trekker

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Google Lat Long: Apply now to be the next Google Maps Trekker

We’re working to build the very best map of the world, and we’d love your help to do it. Today we’re kicking off a pilot program that enables third party organizations to borrow the Street View Trekker and contribute imagery to Google Maps. For the first time ever, this program will enable organizations to use our camera equipment to collect 360-degree photos of the places they know best -- helping us make Google Maps more comprehensive and useful for all. This program is part of our ongoing effort to make it possible for anyone to contribute to Google Maps.

Our first partner, the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB), has already begun using the Trekker to take photos of the most popular, well-trafficked sites on the Hawaiian islands for future inclusion on Google Maps.

Street View Operations Lead Chris Fiock teaches Jaci Matsuo of HVCB and Rob Pacheco of Hawaii Forest & Trail how to operate the Trekker using its Android device at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

Just a few days ago, our team arrived in Hawaii, the Big Island, to train our HVCB partners on how to operate the Trekker technology. Relying on HVCB’s expertise, we worked together to choose the locations where they’ll collect panoramic imagery, including trails through Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Mauna Loa Observatory, Onomea Bay, Akaka Falls, Waipio Valley, Pololu Valley and more. Once images from the Hawaii Island are collected, HVCB will move on to capture photos from adjacent islands including Oahu, Maui and Kauai. By working in partnership with HVCB, we can bring these locations online much faster than working alone.

Rob Pacheco treks the uneven terrain and rocky beaches of Pololū Valley

With 360-degree interactive imagery of the islands, people all over the world can see and explore the beautiful islands before they go, including some remote and hard-to-reach places they may never have discovered on their own. We also hope this imagery will be used by our partners to increase awareness and interest in their locations, potentially increasing tourism.

Now it’s your turn! If you’re a tourism board, non-profit, government agency, university, research organization or other entity interested in borrowing a Street View Trekker to capture and share imagery from a place you know and care about, please apply today. In the coming months, we’ll open up this pilot program to a limited number of other organizations around the world.

To apply to be the next Trekker, please fill out the form.

Happy Trekking!

Posted by Deanna Yick, Street View Program Manager