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VISIT FLORIDA Partners with Google Maps to Showcase State’s Beaches

July 26, 2013 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

Today, a team from VISIT FLORIDA – the state’s official tourism marketing corporation – began a four-month odyssey to capture stunning images of the Sunshine State’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.

Governor Rick Scott said, “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.  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 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.

“With 825 miles of beaches, Florida is the world’s definitive beach destination,” said Will Seccombe, President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA.  “Partnering with Google Maps to document the beauty and diversity of Florida’s beaches and coastline using this amazing technology will allow people to see parts of the Sunshine State they may never have discovered on their own.”

To see a photo of the technology in action, click here.  Pictured is trekker Gregg Matthews stopping for a photo with a visitor on Fort Walton Beach.

“VISIT FLORIDA loves to engage with our visitors through interactive storytelling, and there’s no better way to tell the Sunshine State story than through this incredible partnership opportunity with the world’s largest search engine,” said Paul Phipps, Chief Marketing Officer for VISIT FLORIDA. “I’ve seen some of the early footage that’s being shot and it’s absolutely breathtaking. I can hardly wait for everyone to see the final images.”

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