Fairmount Park First Major Urban Park System To Get Google Street View Treatment

 

Beneath Henry Avenue Bridge | Photo: Michael Bixler

Beneath Henry Avenue Bridge | Photo: Michael Bixler

Fairmount Park’s trail system is about to become even more accessible. On Monday, May 15 Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and the Fairmount Park Conservancy will launch their Google Street View Trekker program, a nationwide mapping initiative to digitalize hiking trails and unique, off-the-beaten-path locations to add to the technology company’s online Street View database.

Trekker hi-res

The Google Trekker pack | Photo: Google

Philadelphia, home to the largest urban park system in the country, will be the first major city to partner with Google on the project. PPR and FPC will borrow one of Google’s Trekker backpacks, a 50-pound pack fitted with a 15-lens camera system, to record over 200 miles of trails and other points of interest within and around Fairmount Park. High-resolution images will be collected from now until the end of October. The photographs will be submitted to Google, stitched together to present 360-degree panoramic views, and uploaded onto the Google Street View platform. After the editing process is complete, PPR and FPC will announce when the maps will go live to the public.

“What this technology and opportunity provides is an enhanced way for visitors to connect with these special places in the U.S. in a way they may never have before. Google expects many people may never get to explore this place in person, so they are so happy to open it up for the world to enjoy,” says a press release from the Fairmount Park Conservancy.

100 miles of Bucks County were recently recorded in late summer 2015 by Google’s Trekker program, providing 13 virtual tours of verdant parkland, countryside, and popular, hard-to-reach sightseeing locations like Ringing Rocks Park and the top of Bowman’s Tower.

The Google Street Trekker launch for Philadelphia park’s and trails will take place on Monday, May 15 at 1PM on Belmont Plateau, Cross Country Trail Head at 4201 Montgomery Drive. Kathryn Ott Lovell, Commissioner, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and Tim Clair, Interim Executive Director, Fairmount Park Conservancy will officiate the program. PPR staff and Benjamin Franklin will be on hand to demonstrate the Google Trekker backpack’s function and technology.

About the author

Michael Bixler is a writer, photographer, and managing editor of Hidden City Daily. He is a former arts and entertainment reporter with Mountain Xpress weekly in Asheville, North Carolina and a native of South Carolina. Bixler has a keen interest in adaptive reuse, underappreciated architecture, contemporary literature and art, and forward-thinking dialogue about people and place. mmbixler.tumblr.com

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1 Comment


  1. Good news. It will be nice to visit Philly’s parks again. At my age I doubt I will ever get a chance to come back and do it in person.

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