Hikers needed to carry camera

For The Republic

If you’re going to be going out anyway, would you mind taking the whole internet with you?

The Brown County Convention and Visitors Bureau is lining up volunteers to carry the Google Trekker backpack, a camera with 15 lenses that takes images for the “street view” feature in Google Maps.

The primary focus is on hiking trails throughout Brown County, said Aubrey Sitzman, public relations coordinator for the CVB. But there are a few other spots the CVB hopes to hit as well.

The aim is to boost tourism and give potential visitors a preview of what they’ll find here.

“We saw this as a cool and unique way to raise awareness about the great outdoor adventure activities and beautiful scenery Brown County has to offer,” Sitzman said.

The Trekker backpack weighs between 40 and 60 pounds, Sitzman said. It can take pictures every two-and-a-half seconds. The 15 lenses are all angled in a different direction and Google stitches them together to make a panoramic view.

The first place Google used it was in the Grand Canyon. Whereas many places on Google Maps can be shot with a vehicle-mounted camera, trails can’t be shown that way, Google says.

The CVB doesn’t have the Trekker yet, but it’s asked Google if it can have it for fall, Sitzman said. The CVB is trying to line up volunteers now.

All carriers will have to take an online training course before using Trekker, Sitzman said.

Interested? Call the Visitors Center at 812-988-7303.