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Google to take Street View photos of Utah park

Published May 9, 2013 9:31 pm

Tech • Deer Creek is first off-road area in state to be filmed with 360-degree camera.
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Thanks to Google, you will be able to hike a trail along Deer Creek State Park in Wasatch County without having to leave your chair.

On Monday, the California-based search engine company will photograph a series of 360-degree panoramic pictures of a trail in the Utah park for its Google Maps website, the first time it is filming an off-road stretch of Utah for its virtual map.

"They have done parts of the Grand Canyon and a little bit of the Alaskan wilderness, but this will be the first time in Utah," said Angie Welling, Utah spokeswoman for Google.

Google team members will use a photo system called Street View Trekker, which is a backpack carried by a hiker with a camera perched on top and 15 lenses facing outward.

As the camera operator walks along the trail, the Street View Trekker will take a 360-degree photo every 2.5 seconds. Once the photos are compiled, they will be input to the Google Maps website, where computer users will be able to walk along the trail and pan completely around, as well as backward and forward. Users can view it on desktop computers or on mobile devices such as an iPhone or iPad.

The team will cover a 7.5-mile stretch at the park beginning at the Soldier Hollow trailhead, about 5 miles southwest of Heber. Google did not say when the images would be uploaded for viewing.

Google initiated Street View for Google Maps and Google Earth in May 2007. The feature got its start with a specially equipped car that drove around cities and photographed ground-level, 360-degree images of streets. Street View also has extended the interactive feature to some areas underwater, where viewers can see coral reefs and marine life.

vince@sltrib.com