A new partnership between The Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau
and Google Maps will bring the experience of being in Memphis to people all over the world through the Google Maps Street View Trekker Program
“This technology and opportunity provides an enhanced way for visitors to connect with Memphis in a way they may never have before,” says Bob Hazlett, CVB Director of Online Marketing. “The exposure on Google Maps is huge, with the potential for reaching millions of consumers using the service each day. Our team here at The Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau is so excited to get to make history with one of the leading technology companies on the planet by our side.”
The Google Maps Street View Trekker technology consists of a 40-pound backpack with a camera system that allows the wearer to capture panoramic images from all types of locations, especially places only accessible by foot. A computer controls 15 cameras on the device (the equipment is the same used on Google Street View cars), and each camera takes a 360-degree image every 1 to 2 seconds.
The entire rig is controlled by an Android phone, and the images are saved on a hard drive and then shipped to Google for processing. The images are stitched together and made available on Street View in Google Maps.
During a six-week project last year, Hazlett and CVB intern Stephen Ferguson mapped the interior paths of the Memphis Zoo, trails at Overton Park, the gates of Graceland, the campus of Rhodes College, multiple paths at Shelby Farms and the Greenline, Beale Street Landing and along the riverfront.
“We're using new Google Trekker technology to show a side of Memphis that was previously unavailable,” says Hazlett. “Only two other tourism organizations (in Hawaii and Florida) have used Trekker in this sort of way.”
Hazlett plans to utilize the technology for more interactive content on MemphisTravel.com and training CVB sales staff to use when pitching offsite events to meeting/group business.