Google has incorporated 360-degree virtual imagery of hundreds of miles of Dayton-area trails and park destinations into its Google Maps. Five Rivers MetroParks partnered with Outdoor Adventure Connectionand Dayton Hikers, and collaborated with dozens of regional partners, to capture more than 600 miles of hiking, equestrian, mountain bike, water and paved trails.
This includes panoramic street view imagery-of regional hiking, mountain biking, equestrian, water and paved trails, providing outdoor recreation enthusiasts with interactive visual resources to plan and inspire adventures. People across the world now have the ability to virtually explore many of the region’s trails and landscapes.
“The information Google Maps provides is valuable to local trail enthusiasts and tourists,” said Amy Dingle, director of outdoor connections for Five Rivers MetroParks. “People can use these images as a tool to plan experiences on our amazing trails and public lands.”
Users can access the images of the Dayton region’s trails and landscapes by visiting www.google.com/maps. Captured areas include:
- Publicly accessible trails and open spaces in Five Rivers MetroParks’ 18 park destinations
- MetroParks’ Woodman Fen, Dull Woodsand Medlar conservation areas
- Regional parks, including Bill Yeck Park, Grant Park, and Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum
- More than 20 regional paved trails, including the Great Miami River Trail, Stillwater River Trail, Mad River Trailand the rest of the nation’s largest paved trail network.
- The Great Miami River Watershed National Water Trailthrough Montgomery County
- Mad River Runand RiverScape River Run
“This project is the most comprehensive of its kind in Ohio,” Dingle said. “Its success is a true reflection of the outdoor culture here and showcases Dayton, Ohio, as the Outdoor Adventure Capital of the Midwest.”
Professional photographers, travelers, organizations and those who wish to promote areas of cultural, historical or touristic significance may apply to participate in the Google Street View camera loan program. A Street View Trekker backpack or a Street View app-compatible 360 camera is provided to organizations so they may capture comprehensive imagery of a designated area or site.
Similar to the camera unit affixed to vehicles that capture Google’s Street View images along roads, the Street View Trekker backpack has 15 cameras that capture images about every two seconds. Volunteers from Five Rivers MetroParks and Dayton Hikers collected the images during summer 2016.
The Street View Trekker backpack was mounted on a kayak to capture rivers and lakes, and on a utility cart to record images of the nation’s largest paved trail network, with more than 300 miles of connected trails. In addition, volunteers Jim Lewis, Laney Ketring, Dan Murray and Andy Niekamp woe the 50-pound Street View Trekker backpack to capture 80 miles of the area’s hiking trails.
Data collected from the Street View Trekker backpack and detailed information about each “trekking” session was sent to Google upon the project’s completion. Google has been processing the images since then to incorporate them into Google Maps.
The launch of this locally collected data comes just before the International Trails Symposium, May 7 to 10. Hosted in Dayton and sponsored by American Trails, the biennial International Trail Symposium is the premier opportunity for the world’s trails community to convene for educational sessions, networking and to experience regional trails.