Google Maps Street View cameras on Tampa Bay area beaches to help increase tourism in Florida

Virtual panoramic views of state's beach's

MADIERA BEACH - It's a new effort to increase tourism in the state.  All with the help of two, two-man teams.  One team canvassing the beaches of central and north Florida.  The other team working the southern tip of the state.  

But these teams are not alone.  Each one accompanied by a 40-pound backpack from Google!  Visit Florida has teamed up with Google Mappers to cover 825 miles of beaches.

"The trekker itself has 15 cameras, lens on the top, that shoot a picture every 2.5 seconds," says David Delong who is working as one of the Google mappers.  

He and his partner have already covered 200 miles of beach.  Before their task is done, they will have walked 600 miles of the state's beach's between the two of them.  It goes without saying these mappers have to be physically fit.  Delong says he has gone so far as to walk the Grand Canyon and other long excursions; his fair share of endurance training.

Back-breaking work that will yield something a virtual map that will be very similar to Google street view; but with ocean views.

Delong says the cameras will capture a full panoramic view.  Up, down, left and right of the beach the team is walking.  The two taking turns with average shift times of about six hours.

Delong says its hard work, but someone has to do it!

The project will take about six weeks to complete capturing the images with a hopeful launch of February 2014.

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