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Visit Florida Borrows Google Backpacks to Capture 825 Miles of Beach

Jul 25, 2013 2:30 am

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Google is creating a smart relationships with U.S. tourism boards who are taking over mapping efforts to make sure their primary attractions are included in the online database.

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Eric Richards  / Flickr

A beach along Sanibel Island. Eric Richards / Flickr


Florida’s 825 miles of beaches are coming to a computer near you.

Visit Florida, the state’s tourism and marketing arm, begins a four-month journey Wednesday to capture 360-degree images of the state’s beaches.

These photos will be integrated into Google Maps and will be available to anyone around the world with Internet access.

Two-person Visit Florida teams were trained by Google Map experts to capture the images. The teams will walk about 50 miles of beach each week with a backpack that has a camera system on top. The camera has 15 lenses, angled in different directions, so it can capture a complete picture of a location. The images are then stitched together into a 360-degree panoramic photo.

Officials say the images will be viewable on Google Maps next year.

Copyright (2013) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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