Michigan Tourist Destinations Shine Bright with Google Partnership  

Have you ever tried to explain just how beautiful Michigan is to out-of-state relatives or friends? Words just really don’t do our state justice sometimes. Now you can get a little help from Google.

A new partnership between Pure Michigan and Google was unveiled earlier this week at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism, held at the Amway Grand Plaza hotel in Grand Rapids.

Select Michigan destinations will be featured and accessible to people all over the world through Google Maps’ Street View. Sites were captured using Google Trekker technology, with Michigan being the first Midwest state to participate in the program.

“The Pure Michigan campaign has elevated Michigan as a national travel destination, and we are taking that one step further by having these images globally accessible on Google Maps,” said Lt. Governor Brian Calley. “This initiative combines our natural beauty with innovative technology in a way that really speaks to all that Michigan has to offer visitors, residents and businesses alike.”

The Google Trekker technology provides 360-degree images for potential visitors to the state to explore places such as Mackinac Island, Sleeping Bear Dunes and the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. More than 44,000 panoramic photos were taken by members and volunteers on the Pure Michigan team and the Department of Natural Resources, who borrowed the Trekker and traveled for four weeks around the state.

“We are excited to be going global with some of the incredible places that can only be experienced here in Michigan,” said David West, Vice President of Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “We are always looking for innovative new ways to tell our stories to travelers, and being one of the first state tourism offices in the U.S. to partner with Google through the Trekker Loan Program elevates the work we are doing to spread the word about Pure Michigan.”

Introduced in 2012, the Street View Trekker is a backpack system with a camera on top that is worn by an operator who walks through pedestrian walkways or trails on foot – or in the case of some Michigan locations by kayak. The imagery is captured automatically and stitched together to create the 360-degree panorama seen on Google Maps.

Did your favorite Michigan hotspots get the Google treatment? For more information and to view the images, visit www.michigan.org/GoogleTrekker.

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And whether or not you have had the chance to visit this scene, check out our team’s video of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore from our trip to the U.P. last year.

Photo credit: A Healthier Michigan

 

 

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