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Florida's beaches first in world to be mapped by Google

8:29 PM, Jul 25, 2013   |    comments
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Imagine planning your dream beach vacation somewhere along Florida's coast and being able to see every inch of the beach on your computer before you leave home.

That will soon be the reality for anyone in the world as a result of a new partnership between Google and Florida.

Google is mapping Florida's 825 miles of beaches with its unique Street View Trekker technology.

The Trekker is a camera with 15 lenses that takes 360-degree images every two-and-a-half seconds.

The camera is about the size of a basketball and is mounted on a wearable, 40-pound backpack.

Google has loaned two Trekker cameras to Florida. Kevin McGeever of Visit Florida said now two teams of two people are walking the entire length of the coastline to get the pictures.

"Each day Google collects roughly 10,000 panoramas and they edit out people's faces, license plates but then they create this library of images. The entire Google view of Florida's beaches will be ready probably at the beginning of 2014. One guy has the camera, this 40-pound backpack and walks the beaches. The other is taking still images because we're creating a journal of this as we go along and also scouting ahead, making sure that beaches are clear, that access is available and that's how it works."

All those images will be integrated into Google Maps so anyone thinking about booking a vacation in Florida will be able to experience interactive views of their destination.

The Trekker teams are starting in northwest Florida and walking about 50 miles a week. Florida's beaches are the first in the world to be mapped by Google.

Dave Heller

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