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. Follow him on Instagram



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.

Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted.

Recent Posts
Protected Jewelers Row Building Cited

Protected Jewelers Row Building Cited “Unsafe” By L&I On The Eve Of Toll Brothers Demolition

September 19, 2019  |  Development, Preservation

Last week the owner of a legally protected historic property on Jewelers Row was unexpectedly served multiple violations by the Department of Licenses and Inspections as suburban real estate developer Toll Brothers prepares to demolish five buildings next door. Starr Herr-Cardillo reports > more

Still Chugging Along: Exploring Philadelphia's Other Broad Street Station

Still Chugging Along: Exploring Philadelphia’s Other Broad Street Station

September 18, 2019  |  History

Ed Duffy dives deep into the origins of a litttle-known Neoclassical train station in North Philly > more

Renovations At William Way Look To The Future While Preserving The Past

Renovations At William Way Look To The Future While Preserving The Past

September 16, 2019  |  Architecture, Preservation

Big changes are in the works for William Way Community Center thanks to a $1 million grant from the Commonwealth's Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. Stacia Friedman has the details > more

Final Plans To Transfer Philadelphia History Museum Collection To Drexel University Unveiled

Final Plans To Transfer Philadelphia History Museum Collection To Drexel University Unveiled

September 12, 2019  |  City Life, History

The Philadelphia History Museum is officially dead. The large collection of beloved city artifacts will be transferred to Drexel University. Kimberly Haas has the news > more

Hidden City Daily Celebrates Eight Years Of Publishing

Hidden City Daily Celebrates Eight Years Of Publishing

September 11, 2019  |  City Life

September marks Hidden City Daily's 8th year of publishing. To toast the occasion we look back at the past 12 months with a curated list of our top 15 stories. > more

Settlement Houses: Doing Good In The Neighborhood

Settlement Houses: Doing Good In The Neighborhood

September 9, 2019  |  History

Stacia Friedman takes a look at Philadelphia's long tradition of providing social welfare and education through settlement houses, some of which still serve communities today > more