FORT WAYNE, Ind. (ADAMS) – Indiana parks and trails are now being featured on Google Maps. The Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department announced that they collected images of local trails and pathways in partnership with Google Maps. In 2016, the Indiana Parks and Recreation Association (IPRA) partnered with Google to capture 360 degree panoramic images of 33 Indiana parks using Google Trekker technology. The technology provides support and opportunity and is an enhanced way for visitors to connect with these special places in Indiana like they may never have before.
The Trekker, the latest imagery-gathering apparatus, is a wearable backpack system that allows staff to venture to locations only accessible by foot. The ability to take Street View to remote, hard-to-navigate places, is a major opportunity to make the beauty and history of locations like these accessible to a global audience.
The Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department was able to capture images along several trails, including the Rivergreenway, the Towpath Trail and segments of the Pufferbelly Trail. Images were also captured in Shoaff, Kreager, Lakeside, Memorial, Buckner, McMillen, Headwaters and many other parks.
“Our 107 mile trail network now connects all parks located along our City’s three rivers. It also connects more than 167,000 people within a 1/2 mile of where they live. That’s significant, as many of our users are new to the trail network, making the Google Maps trail images essential for continued growth and use,” said Dawn Ritchie, Manager, City of Fort Wayne Greenways and Trails. “This will greatly aid and connect our 570,000 users we have each year.”
Lisa Nye, Executive Director of the Indiana Parks and Recreation Association says their goal in bringing the Google Trekker to Indiana has to do with health and sedentary lifestyles. “The Google Trekker program allows us to show Hoosiers all the amazing trails, greenways, waterways, and parks available to them in an effort to get citizens to unplug, and go out and get active,” said Nye