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Lt. Gov. Brian Calley: New Partnership with Google Puts Pure Michigan on the Map
March 23, 2015
Michigan is first Midwest state to participate in programMonday, March 23, 2015
LANSING – A new partnership between Google and Pure Michigan, unveiled today at the Michigan Tourism Conference, will showcase Michigan’s most iconic destinations across the globe.
Lt. Gov. Brian Calley joined with Travel Michigan Vice President David West and Steve Silverman from Google Maps to unveil Google Trekker technology, which will make Pure Michigan accessible to people all around the world through Street View in Google Maps.
“The Pure Michigan campaign has elevated Michigan as a national travel destination, and we are taking that one step further by having these images globally accessible on Google Maps,” said Lt. Governor Brian Calley. “This initiative combines our natural beauty with innovative technology in a way that really speaks to all that Michigan has to offer visitors, residents and businesses alike.”
Using Google Trekker technology, attractions such as Mackinac Island, Sleeping Bear Dunes and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore – not previously accessible on Google Street View – now have 360 degree, fully navigable imagery that will allow potential travelers to explore these destinations to inspire and plan a visit to Michigan.
"As part of the Michigan community, we hope that making this Street View imagery available to people all over the world will encourage them to discover some of the state’s most beautiful and significant places, some of which are right in their backyards," said Steve Silverman, Google Maps Street View Program Manager. "We were thrilled to work with Pure Michigan, a team that knows the state’s unique attractions and local gems best, to loan them our equipment and enable these collections."
Google’s partnership with Pure Michigan is the first state-wide Trekker Loan partnership in the Midwest.
The Trekker images, captured last fall, were unveiled today at the 2015 Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism, being held in Grand Rapids. More than 44,000 panoramic photos were taken by members and volunteers on the Pure Michigan team and the Department of Natural Resources who borrowed the Trekker and traveled for four weeks, capturing some of the most breathtaking scenes around Michigan. Images include a view from the top of the Mackinac Bridge, one of the world’s longest suspension bridges; Sleeping Bear Dunes, Good Morning America’s Most Beautiful Place in America (2011); and Mackinac Island, the only place in America where vehicles have been banned for more than 100 years.
“We are excited to be going global with some of the incredible places that can only be experienced here in Michigan,” said David West, Vice President of Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “We are always looking for innovative new ways to tell our stories to travelers, and being one of the first state tourism offices in the U.S. to partner with Google through the Trekker Loan Program elevates the work we are doing to spread the word about Pure Michigan.”
Now available on Google Street View are: the top of the Mackinac Bridge, Mackinac Island, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, the Island Loop Route National Water Trail in St. Clair County, the State Capitol building in Lansing, Ford Field, the Detroit Riverwalk, Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Wagner Falls, Bond Falls, Silver Lake State Park and Sand Dunes, Palms Brook State Park, Brighton State Recreation Area, Pinckney State Recreation Area, Fort Gratiot Lighthouse, Ocqueoc Falls in Millersburg, Agate Falls in Trout Creek and the Presque Isle River.
“This technology is an excellent way to introduce people to Michigan’s outstanding natural and cultural resources,” said Department of Natural Resources Director Keith Creagh. “Showcasing these exceptional places through Google Trekker will allow people everywhere to see what residents of our state already know: the beauty and wonder of Michigan rivals any place on earth.”
These sites join other natural wonders, including the Grand Canyon, the Taj Mahal, the Great Pyramids, the Galapagos Islands and many more available in the Street View feature of Google Maps.
Introduced in 2012, the Street View Trekker is a backpack system with a camera on top that is worn by an operator who walks through pedestrian walkways or trails on foot – or in the case of some Michigan locations by kayak. The imagery is captured automatically and stitched together to create the 360 degree panorama seen on Google Maps.
Pure Michigan is a brand representing business, talent and tourism initiatives across Michigan. These efforts are driven by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which serves as the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business growth, jobs and opportunity with a focus on helping grow Michigan’s economy.
For more information and to view the images, visit www.michigan.org/GoogleTrekker.