Google treks new technology across the Cape to Cape region
Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions project manager Glenn Wilmott has been walking around the Capes taking images for Google Street View Trekker.
The project has taken Mr Wilmott from the Kimberley to Esperance taking photos for Google Maps. Images supplied.
Carrying a 15 kilogram backpack, Glenn Wilmott has been walking up to two kilometres a day across the regions trails and tracks capturing images for Google Street View Trekker.
The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions project manager has covered around 40 kilometres of the regions trails from Wonnerup to Leeuwin.
Googles Street View Trekker is a wearable backpack with a camera system on top, which has been loaned to the state government and deployed throughout WA to capture the states unique and remote attractions.
The system takes 360-degree panoramic photographs and has been used on more than 150 trails across WA to feature on Google Maps.
Google Street View Trekker is currently being used in the Capes region by DBCA with the project having taken Mr Wilmott around the state.
Mr Wilmott said the equipment was top heavy and awkward to use, which he was forced to carry up rock faces in National Parks.
“It has been good to get out and about and see places I have not seen or walked before, it has been a great opportunity and lots of fun,” he said.
“The project has taken me around the state to the East and West Kimberley and Esperance.
“I have taken it on a dinghy down the Blackwood River and on quad bikes, which was fun.”
Mr Wilmott said some of the images taken around WA had already gone live on Google Street View including Big Brook near Pemberton Dam.
Bluff Knoll in the Stirling Range National Park, Granite Skywalk at Porongurup National Park, and The Gap and Natural Bridge at Torndirrup National Park were among the 20 trails now available on Google Maps.
Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the footage allowed millions of people from all over the world to see what they could experience in WAs parks.
Mr Dawson said the imagery could provide pre-tip information to the public that would allow visitors to virtually see attractions, campgrounds, road and trail conditions and a range of other visual experiences.
“It is also wonderful that WAs remote places that are generally very hard to get to, will be available for people with limited mobility to experience.”
Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said it was exciting to see technology like this used to promote WAs nature-based attractions and experiences.
“The vision will be shared with Tourism WA and local and regional tourism organisations to assist with ongoing tourism promotion,” he said.
“Taking part in initiatives like this forms part of our Two-Year Action Plan to attract more visitors to Perth and regional WA.”