Sunday, July 28, 2013

VISIT FLORIDA and Google Maps To Photograph All Florida Beaches

Brevard County beachside residents might want to keep their blinds closed and think twice about having morning coffee on the balcony unless they want the world to see their bedhead hairdo.  That's because a team from VISIT FLORIDA has begun a four-month operation to capture images of Florida’s 825 miles of beaches using Google’s Street View Trekker technology.  These 360-degree images will be integrated into Google Maps, enabling potential visitors from around the globe to experience interactive views of Florida’s world-renowned beaches before they ever leave home.

“This technology from Google will allow anyone in the world to see how vast and beautiful Florida’s beaches are, which will create more opportunities for tourism," Governor Rick Scott said in a press release.  "While this technology will better connect the world to Florida’s beaches, there’s no substitute for the real thing.  For anyone who’s interested in Florida’s beaches, this will ultimately be a great tool so they can better plan for their next trip to the Sunshine State.”

The imagery will be collected by two-person teams (trained by Google Maps experts) who will use the Street View Trekker and walk roughly 50 miles of beaches each week.  The Trekker, pictured above, is a wearable backpack with a camera system on top.  Its 15 lenses are angled in different directions to capture a complete picture of a location, and the images are then stitched together into 360-degree panoramic views.  The completed imagery, scheduled for release next year, will enable viewers to digitally explore Florida shorelines step by step.