Rigo­let lo­cal maps out 360 de­gree view of board­walk for Google Maps

The Labradorian - - FRONT PAGE - BY EVAN CAREEN

The wooden board­walk in Rigo­let is a sight to be­hold.

Stretch­ing seven km long with wildlife and na­ture shots at ev­ery turn, it has been, and will con­tinue to be, a draw for tourists to the small coastal Labrador com­mu­nity.

Now, peo­ple in­ter­ested in vis­it­ing or just see­ing the board­walk, pur­ported to be the long­est wooden board­walk in North Amer­ica, can view it on Google Maps, cour­tesy of Rigo­let lo­cal El­dred Allen.

Allen, who owns a drone com­pany, Bird Eye Inc., in the area said he has been in­volved with Google for the last few years through their Indige­nous Map­ping Work­shops.

“They take indige­nous groups from across Canada and bring them to­gether in one lo­ca­tion and teach them how to use Google prod­ucts to work on what­ever is needed for the First Na­tion or indige­nous groups that at­tend,” he said.

Allen has at­tended four of these indige­nous map­ping work­shops and made an ap­pli­ca­tion to get a trekker, the back­pack that does full-on street view that you see in the ma­jor cities.

“Those are harder to be able to get a hold of be­cause they’re in such high de­mand. But they just launched be­ing able to get a 360 de­gree hand­held cam­era to do what they call pho­to­spheres. I ap­plied to that and I was suc­cess­ful in get­ting a loan of one of these cam­eras. So I started cap­tur­ing as soon as a re­ceived it.”

Allen said it took three days to cap­ture the en­tire board­walk and there were many tech­ni­cal de­tails to work out, based on stor­age and spac­ing and many other fac­tors. The en­tire board­walk, one he had it com­pleted, con­sists of 559 in­di­vid­ual pho­to­spheres and then he linked all of those to­gether.

Allen said right now they get tourists who hear about it and travel to Rigo­let just for that ex­pe­ri­ence.

“If you have in­di­vid­u­als or tourists or peo­ple from here who can’t get back and want to ex­pe­ri­ence the board­walk now they can ac­tu­ally go into Google Maps and vir­tu­ally walk and ex­pe­ri­ence the board­walk from their own homes,” he said. “Hope­fully it’s go­ing to be a mar­ket­ing tool for the com­mu­nity of Rigo­let. If peo­ple want to come visit and see it they can vir­tu­ally ex­pe­ri­ence it first and see what the ex­pe­ri­ence is like be­fore you come here.”

He said right now tourism is some­thing Rigo­let is hop­ing to ben­e­fit from, es­pe­cially with the an­nounce­ment of Mealy Moun­tain Na­tional Park that is go­ing to be open­ing.

“Rigo­let is hop­ing to be­come a stag­ing ground for the na­tional park and if you have tourists come in and the long­est wooden board­walk is right there then peo­ple will come see it. It could be a huge ben­e­fit for our com­mu­nity.”

FILE PHOTO

El­dred Allen mapped out the Rigo­let board­walk for Google as part of the Google Maps project.

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