Google Trekker Coming to Northern B.C.
Prince George, B.C. – Northern B.C. Tourism will have an opportunity to have some of the region’s beautiful back country on Google’s ‘Trek Page’. (at right, ‘Trekker’ equipment – image courtesy Google and Northern B.C. Tourism)
The Google Trekker, a piece of equipment that is portable, but can take the same kind of images already available on Google Earth’s ‘street view’, will be used in June, July and August of next year, opening the window for ‘virtual visitors’ to see sights they normally may not be able to access.
Northern B.C. Tourism Executive Director, Clint Fraser, says “They ( Google) take applications into their program, which is a fairly new program and they look to different destination organizations and marketing entities to generate the content they need.” Northern B.C. Tourism submitted an application, and it was accepted which is pretty impressive considering some of the other destinations already available on Google’s ‘Trek Page’ include the pyramids of Giza , Venice and the Galapagos Islands.
The “Google Trekker” can be mounted in a back pack style, and can be taken to many areas not accessible by roads. ” I think it’s really an opportunity for a place like Northern British Columbia to really capture our greatest tourism asset which is our vast wilderness and landscapes and share them virtually with the world. It’s an important program to us because we know that travellers are much more technologically savvy when planning a vacation and they look deeper into the potential destinations that they’re interested in before they make decisions and this tool will really provide user the ability to experience some of our back country and wilderness virtually and help influence their decisions to come to Northern B.C.”
The Northern BC Tourism team will be trained on how to use the ‘Trekker’ then will have the equipment for a full three months ” Three months is a pretty decent duration to get out into the back country and capture some really good content” says Fraser.
Google supplies the equipment, and then it’s up to Northern BC Tourism to head out and capture the images. Fraser says they haven’t yet decided on which areas will be featured “Over the next couple of months that’s sort of what our task will be, to really lay out the plan, but we are really looking forward to building this plan into something substantial, so we’re really excited about the opportunities with it for sure.”