MAP­PING South Africa’s Trails

Tourism Tattler - - MARKETING - By Jarred Manasse About the au­thor: Jarred Manasse is the Content Man­ager at Drive South Africa. For more in­for­ma­tion: www.drivesouthafrica.co.za

to cap­ture 360-de­gree street view im­agery of South Africa’s top wilder­ness, cul­tural and his­toric sites for Google Maps. Each “off-road” lo­ca­tion will be cap­tured with Google’s Street View Trekker, a wear­able back­pack topped with a cam­era sys­tem de­signed by Google. The Street View Trekker back­pack is walked through trails or pedes­trian walk­ways on foot, and au­to­mat­i­cally gath­ers images as it goes.

Google Street View gives in­ter­net users a virtual tour of an area us­ing 360-de­gree panoramic pho­to­graphs.

South Africa's roads were added to Google Street View in 2010 ahead of the FIFA World Cup.

The first phase of the pro­ject has seen 22 vol­un­teer trekkers cover 33 trails across the Cape Penin­sula, in­clud­ing seven routes up Ta­ble Moun­tain, five beaches and three ur­ban trails such as the Sea Point prom­e­nade.

The team has ex­plored more than 150 kilo­me­tres on foot over a six week pe­riod and will cover na­ture re­serves across the coun­try over the next few months.

The pro­ject has gained sup­port from var­i­ous tourism stake­hold­ers: Wes­gro - the of­fi­cial tourism, trade and in­vest­ment pro­mo­tion agency for Cape Town and the West­ern Cape, SANParks, Cape Na­ture, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and lead pro­ject part­ner South African Tourism.

“We are very ex­cited to back this op­por­tu­nity to de­liver the real South Africa to peo­ple all over the world via Google's widely used plat­forms,” said Margie White­house, Chief Mar­ket­ing Of­fi­cer of SA Tourism.

The pro­ject comes in the wake of Google's launch of South Africa: Mzansi Ex­pe­ri­ence in March 2016, which helped the world ex­plore South Africa's iconic des­ti­na­tions such as the Kruger Na­tional Park, Ta­ble Moun­tain, and the Cape of Good Hope via 360-de­gree im­agery from the com­fort of the view­ers arm­chair.

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