BY SHAIN GILLET
Clipper Sports Editor
SYRACUSE — Deer Creek State Park in Midvale has become the first Utah State Park to get a comprehensive, 360-degree mapping by Google’s Street View Trekker team.
Local officials are vying for Antelope Island to be next, and a Google official agreed it could happen.
The effort was made on the part of Google, which took over the Provo’s fiber-optic network in Provo. It hopes to “create a comprehensive, accurate and useful” map of the Midway state park.
“Utah’s connection to outdoor recreation is critical to our unparalleled quality of life and a robust economy,” said Lt. Gov. Greg Bell, in a press release. “We want Utah’s outdoors to be accessible to residents and visitors, and this program will provide access like we could have never imagined.”
As part of the initial mapping, students from the local high school and other community members from recreational groups such as Friends of Utah State Parks, the Mountain Trails Foundation and the Wasatch Mountain Club joined Google and Bell to launch the Trekker project.
“This tour is part of Google’s commitment to Utah,” said Google’s Charlie Hale. “Last month when we announced Google Fiber in Provo City, the nation saw Utah’s innovative and technologically savvy spirit. Today, they’ll also see the area’s natural beauty with this new imagery from Deer Creek State Park.”
The Trekker itself weighs approximately 40 pounds and stands four feet tall. As many as 15 lenses point in all directions and take photos every 2.5 seconds.
The Trekker allows for Google to map locations that vehicles are unable to get to, such as parkland trails and through narrow terrain.
Locally, a representative for Google has said Syracuse’s Antelope Island could be a target for the Trekker.
“I know there are a lot of people that live in Davis County that are encouraging Antelope Island to be the first one done in that area,” said Angie Welling of Love Communications for Google. “There is quite a bit of Davis County representation among the recreational groups, so they’ve been pushing to have the Antelope be the first in Davis County.”
Welling did not confirm that Google will come to the park, however, and said the members of Google “typically don’t release any information about where they’re going until a few days before they go out and start mapping.”
Regarding Deer Creek, Ranger Steve Bullock said the trail is very popular among bikers and hikers, as well as anglers and many other outdoor groups.
“Thanks to Google, people around the world will be able to see what we have to offer in more detail than ever before,” he said.
For more information about the Street View program, visit google.com/help/maps/mapcontent/streetview/faq.html.