Google Trekker: the three-million-step project

It's a wrap for the big walk but just the beginning for Ipswich's Google Street View showcase.
21 Sep 2018
Discover Ipswich, Staff Writer

Ipswich’s Google Trekker project has concluded – at least on the ground. Now the footage from 57 locations around the region will be stitched together. Lastly, it will be uploaded to Google Street View in the coming months.

Hardings Paddock

It’s been an incredible adventure for Josh ‘The Bear’ Kerr since answering the ‘Human Wanted’ advertisement campaign early this year. Ipswich City Council’s Tourism department put out the call to find someone willing and able to walk the Google Trekker around Ipswich. This form of mapping might involve the latest technology but it still requires a human to capture the images on foot.

 

Nerima

In all, Josh explored 57 locations across Ipswich, clocking up more than three million steps along the way. Consequently becoming the most comprehensive Google Street View mapping project of any single region in the southern hemisphere.

 

team effort hvap

“I’m just super grateful to have been part of this experience,” he said.  “We had a fantastic team of people behind the scenes making everything happen.”

There were a few times when the Google trekker had to be taken in a vehicle. For example, mapping the entire 130km of mountain bike and hiking trails at Hidden Vale Adventure Park would have been tricky on foot. The park is one of the largest in the country, second only to one in Tasmania.

Nature Centre

Among the locations mapped was the Ipswich Nature Centre with its resident wombat, spotted quolls, bilbies, wallabies and farm animals.

Floating

Some days the Google Trekker left the ground – including the sunrise float in a Floating Images Hot Air Balloon.

Ptero

Pterodactyl Helicopters stepped in to assist when the camera crew needed to get to the top of Flinders Peak. However Josh walked the entire 680m climb – with the 20kg Google Trekker device on his back. All of this will be revealed when the footage is available via Google Street View.

Flinders-Goolman Conservation Estate, Ipswich

He said discovering so many unique and beautiful natural and heritage destinations around the region had been a highlight.

“I had a wedge-tailed eagle take off right next to me while the Google trekker was capturing trails at Hidden Vale. So it will be interesting to see if that is captured in the final cut.”

Pumpyard

So much walking can create a mean thirst. Therefore it was only fair that Josh sampled the local brew when the Trekker took him to Pumpyard Bar & Brewery. Pumpyard is located in the historic 88 Limestone precinct.

88 Limestone | Ipswich

Beyond the Google Trekker project, Josh will continue his work as an ambassador with the Ipswich Visitor Information Centre. This will involve running tours in and around the heritage city including a walking tour of historic Queens Park. During the tour there will be a Japanese Tea Ceremony in Nerima Gardens, on October 13.

You can keep up with Josh’s future adventures on Instagram via @joshbearmaster

Discover Ipswich Staff Writer
Rocky the Rock Wallaby is a Sagittarius who lives at the Ipswich Nature Centre and often contributes to Discover Ipswich in his spare time. When he's not busy showing tourists around, blogging or hanging out with his bestie Milly the Wombat, he likes to hit the gym for a leg session, graze on quinoa salad and ponder the possibilities of the universe.

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