Destination BC takes the world through BC’s wilderness with Google Maps and BC Journeys
Destination BC is putting British Columbia on the map, literally. Through a partnership with Google, stunning imagery from BC’s wild places has been added to Google Maps, complemented with interviews with BC locals, imagery, drone footage, immersive 360° video, and featured businesses on the new BC Journeys platform www.bcexplorer.com/journeys.
In 2016, Destination BC and their partners were loaned two Google Street View Trekkers—a wearable backpack outfitted with 15 separate cameras that collect 360° panoramic imagery in remote outdoor locations inaccessible by car. From June to September, teams from Destination BC and regional tourism partners from across the province, hiked the most remote parts of British Columbia from the Canadian Rockies and the mystical islands of Haida Gwaii, and through 10,000 year old ice caves and by fossil dinosaur footprints. Over 105 days, the Google Street View Trekker traversed 983 kilometres on almost 200 treks, travelling by foot, horse, boat, floatplane, and helicopter.
Alongside the Google Street View Trekker, Destination BC sent a crew of expert content creators across the province to capture the stories and culture of British Columbians in those special places. These creators captured interviews with locals, drone footage, and 360° video and photography, highlights of which are now featured on the new BC Journeys platform, and will be distributed to millions of potential visitors around the world.
This is the largest Trekker mapping project ever undertaken between a provincial tourism marketing organization and Google in Canada. Destination BC worked closely with its regional tourism partners to select unique locations that showcase British Columbia’s spectacular nature and exhilarating places. An overview of the project can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LH0ywVEr-Ds
Marsha Walden, CEO, Destination BC
“There are over one billion monthly users of Google Maps. Through these Treks and our new interactive platform, BC Journeys, we can give people a window into our wilderness like never before – creating a connection before people even leave their homes. Combining this powerful, immersive video footage with compelling, authentic stories creates an augmented reality experience that is a pretty potent recipe for driving visitation.”
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour
“The Google Trekker project and BC Journeys platform will give people across the world a first-hand look at BC’s beautiful terrain. We are seeing a record number of international visitors and we are widely recognized as a technology and creative industries hub. I’m sure even more people will be drawn to our province once they see these new state-of-the-art virtual recordings from Google and Destination BC.”
Nicole Bell, Google Street View Trekker Expert
“We’re incredibly proud to partner with Destination BC in this Trekker project. We’ve worked together for years to bring the world to British Columbia and bring British Columbia to the world. These new Street View images, especially some of the more remote locations in BC, are an important part of Google’s goal to create the world’s most comprehensive, accurate and usable map. More than one billion people around the world use Google Maps every month, and we are thrilled to share some of British Columbia's iconic landscapes.”
Using Google Street View, British Columbians and people from around the globe can now virtually hike in some of the province’s vast wilderness and be inspired by the powerful nature they see around them. British Columbia joins a select group of bucket-list Google Street View Trekker destinations such as the Pyramids of Giza, the Grand Canyon and the Galapagos Islands.
Destination BC team members were trained by Google to use the specialized Street View Trekker equipment. The Trekker weighs approximately 18 kilograms (40 pounds), and is the size of a large hiking backpack. It’s about 1.5 metres (4 feet) in height when set on the ground, and when worn, the camera system extends 60 centimetres (2 feet) above the operator’s shoulders.
In addition to the Google Street View Trekker footage, Destination BC captured more than 40 interviews and narratives, drone footage, 40 terabytes of high-definition video footage, hundreds of high resolution images, 24 immersive 360° videos, and chronicled the work of more than 50 tourism businesses. These multimedia assets will be distributed to potential travellers in key markets through Destination BC’s marketing campaigns.
There are currently 176 new BC Google Street View Treks now featured on Google Maps, with 14 more to be uploaded by Google. Here is a sample of the Treks:
Find treks in British Columbia by reviewing the BC Journeys platform, or through Google Maps, by searching for BC’s Google Street View Treks. (A list of all hikes can be found here: http://www.destinationbc.ca/Marketing/Consumer-Marketing/2017-North-America-Marketing-Initiatives.aspx)
Here’s how you can see BC’s Street View Treks:
Search for a place in Google Maps. Drag the yellow ‘Pegman’ to a place on the map.
The blue areas on the map show where Google has collected ‘Street View’ content.
To move around, hover your cursor in the direction you want to go. Your cursor becomes an arrow that shows which direction you're moving. To see where you might go next, look for the “X”; click once to travel to the “X”. To look around, click and drag your mouse. You can also use the arrows to the left and right of the compass.