Google Street View has mapped some amazing parts of the world thanks to their Street View car and, more recently, their Street View Trekker technology, a backpack camera rig that has allowed the mapping of off-road sites like the Grand Canyon and will soon conquer other hiking trails around the world. The latest Trekker project is the trails of Hawaii, which will let users explore Volcanoes National Park, rainforests, beaches and more from their computer.
This project marks the beginning of a new program for Google that lets third party organizations borrow its Trekker gear to map places. In this case, the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) is using the equipment to take on Hawaii's most popular trails and sites.
Google said on their Lat Long blog, "Relying on HVCB’s expertise, we worked together to choose the locations where they’ll collect panoramic imagery, including trails through Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Mauna Loa Observatory, Onomea Bay, Akaka Falls, Waipio Valley, Pololu Valley and more. Once images from the Hawaii Island are collected, HVCB will move on to capture photos from adjacent islands including Oahu, Maui and Kauai. By working in partnership with HVCB, we can bring these locations online much faster than working alone."
Not only will these images give the world the opportunity to see these beautiful places in all their 360-degree-view glory, but the organizations who partner with Google are encouraged to use the images to increase awareness of their area and in tourism outreach.