Google camera backpack could help Bucks County bring in more tourists

     Google Trekking at Shady Brook Farm (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

    Google Trekking at Shady Brook Farm (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

    Bucks County is going virtual in order to lure some real-life visitors.  It involves a very, heavy backpack. 

    The 50 pound device is called the Google Trekker.  Paul Bencivengo  vice-president of Visit Bucks County says he and others are taking it out and using its more than a dozen cameras mounted on the backpack to digitally map tourist destinations for Google maps.  

    “We walk through parks, farms, wildlife preserve places people cannot see on Google Maps,” he said.  “It takes panoramic photos and once the photos are done we send them to Google who then stitches those photos together and people can access them through Google Maps.”

    Images of the off-road adventures, including where George Washington crossed the Delaware River will also go to the tourist agency’s website.

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    Bencivengo says the idea is to give people a virtual opportunity to see tourist sites in the hopes people will follow up with an actual visit.

    The pictures are expected to be online by fall.

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