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HVCB strikes partnership with Google Maps

July 3, 2013 Destination Hawaii No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59The Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau and Google Maps announced Thursday a first-of-its-kind partnership that enables HVCB to borrow the technology company’s state-of-the-art Street View Trekker equipment to collect 360-degree images and visually showcase the Hawaiian Islands’ natural beauty like never before.

The initial phase of the project will focus on Hawaii’s most popular hiking trails.

Click here to see the Street View Trekker in action in the islands.

“We are absolutely thrilled and honored to be selected as Google Maps’ first partner to borrow a Trekker, and to have the privilege of working with one of the world’s leading technology companies to enhance the way travelers can connect with the Hawaiian Islands,” said John Monahan, HVCB’s president and CEO.  “Maps and panoramic imagery serve an integral role in the vacation planning process.  Incorporating this interactive and immersive technology on our site once it;s processed and available online will deliver a powerful travel planning tool for potential Hawai’i visitors across the globe.”

“The Hawaiian Islands are unlike any other place on the planet, so working with HVCB is a perfect partnership to introduce our new Trekker loan pilot program and bring these stunning landscapes online,” said Deanna Yick, program manager for Google Street View.  “Finally being able to photograph and share images from a variety of different terrain, including rainforests, beaches, and even trails paved with hardened lava rock will help make Google Maps all the more comprehensive and useful for both tourists and armchair travelers alike.”

Phase one of the project will commence on Hawaii, the Big Island this month with the help of Kailua-Kona-based eco-tourism company Hawai’i Forest and Trail (HFT).  The outfitter was selected by HVCB to help identify appropriate trails for the project, as well as provide the manpower to physically carry the 40-pound Trekker camera pack on the back of their staff and walk the trails to gather the imagery.

“It was important for us to find the right partner who understood the balance betweentourism and sustainability to join us on this project,” said Jay Talwar, HVCB’s chief marketingofficer.  “Rob Pacheco and his team at Hawai’i Forest and Trail have an impeccable reputation, decades of experience in the eco-tourism business, and a capable staff. We are confident they will be able to deliver with integrity.”

“For more than 20 years, the mission of Hawai’i Forest and Trail has been to reveal thesplendor of Hawaii’s treasured natural resources to visitors through meaningful, interpretive experiences,” explained Rob Pacheco, HFT co-founder and president. “Our partnership with HVCB and Google Maps on this project will allow us to play a direct role in mapping the places we know so well, and to visually showcase to the world the beauty and fragility of areas in Hawai‘i that many may otherwise never see.”

Edited by : Bill Hurley

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