Google gear helps cre­ate vir­tual tours of Ge­or­gia sites

The Standard Journal - - ENTERTAINMENT -

MA­CON — Miles of cen­tral Ge­or­gia trails and some of Ma­con’s most prom­i­nent his­toric land­marks can now be toured on­line on Google Maps.

Oc­mul­gee Na­tional Mon­u­ment Su­per­in­ten­dent Jim David says any­one with an in­ter­net con­nec­tion can take a vir­tual jour­ney to the top of the mounds and get 360-de­gree views of the places they’re walk­ing.

The views were cap­tured with a Google Street View Trekker — a 45-pound back­pack with an at­tached pole topped with a green sphere hold­ing eight cam­eras, the Tele­graph re­ported.

The de­vice was on loan from Google to the Oc­mul­gee Na­tional Mon­u­ment As­so­ci­a­tion, a non­profit work­ing to bring recog­ni­tion to the 700acre park that’s been oc­cu­pied by hu­mans since the Ice Age.

The equip­ment was also used to cre­ate tours of Rose Hill Ceme­tery, Fort Hawkins and Amer­son River Park.

“I saw that other na­tional parks in other cities were do­ing this to try to en­cour­age tourism,” said Bil­lie Cole­man, a vol­un­teer for the park’s as­so­ci­a­tion who came up with the idea to ap­ply for the Google Street View Trekker. “I thought it would be a great way to show­case a lot of the mounds so peo­ple could ex­pe­ri­ence what it was like to be there even if they were never able to come ex­pe­ri­ence this site here.”

Em­ploy­ees of New­Town Ma­con and the Ma­con-Bibb Parks and Re­cre­ation de­part­ment helped trek the other sites. Google pub­lished the vir­tual tours on­line about a year af­ter the trails were trekked.

“Any­time there is an ad­di­tional tourism of­fer­ing for peo­ple who are vis­it­ing, as well as res­i­dents of Ma­con, I think is great,” said Va­lerie Bradley, direc­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions for the Ma­con-Bibb County Con­ven­tion & Vis­i­tors Bureau.

Sights at Rose Hill Ceme­tery on River­side Drive in­clude mau­soleums, obelisks and wrought-iron­ringed plots. The ceme­tery is the fi­nal rest­ing place for some of Ma­con’s most prom­i­nent res­i­dents, in­clud­ing some of the orig­i­nal mem­bers of the All­man Brothers Band, fa­mous ar­chi­tects and masons.

Fort Hawkins was built in 1806, when Ge­or­gia was still mostly fron­tier wilder­ness, for pro­tec­tion against Na­tive Amer­i­cans and in­va­sions by the Span­ish, Bri­tish and French, the Ma­con news­pa­per re­ported. It was where mili­ti­a­men and fed­eral troops were trained for bat­tle, and it is of­ten re­ferred to as the birth­place for mod­ern-day Ma­con.

Amer­son River Park was still be­ing de­vel­oped when images of it were cap­tured in 2016. The area, on the banks of the Oc­mul­gee River, was once home to the city’s wa­ter treat­ment plant, which was de­stroyed in the flood of 1994.

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