The Partnership with Google Maps and State Parks: A Sign of Things to Come

Connecting California State Parks to younger, more diverse audiences is a cornerstone of the Parks Forward Commission’s report and has become a major goal of the Transformation Team.

One of the first – and most visible – efforts to do so has been the partnership between Parks and California-based Google, the world’s leading technology firm.

Just over a year ago, State Parks and Google launched their team effort to map 14 popular state parks and trails. Google employed Trekker, its camera platform, to do the mapping.

The backpack has 15 lenses and takes still photos every 2 seconds. The camera rig was tucked into backpacks of two hikers who took still photos; it took them three months to map the first 14 parks.

From the comfort of their home or mobile device,  viewers can view these images to virtually travel along parks, trails, and pedestrian routes with a 360-degree view.

Based on the popularity of the initial launch, Google released another set of maps this year, bringing the number of State Parks in the program to 110. The new units include Santa Monica State Beach, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park south of Crescent City, and Plumas-Eureka State Park northwest of Lake Tahoe.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with Google and provide visitors from around the world the ability to move beyond static images and experience California’s state parks in full 360-degrees,” said California State Parks’ Director Lisa Mangat.

“As a California-based company, we are so pleased to bring this beautiful imagery of our great state to Google Maps for the world to explore and enjoy,” said Google’s Street View Program Manager Deanna Yick. “We hope taking this Street View tour through California’s parks inspires them to visit in person one day.”

And that, of course, is the goal of the Transformation Team: to continuing to attract Californians to visit their parks and sustain them for future generations.

The Team is working on many more initiatives and partnerships based on the success with Google to ensure generations of Californians are connected to their parks. More details can found in the Team’s report.

To view all of the images, this website..


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