American Rivers and Google Maps launch #ColoradoRiver Street View to spotlight endangered river


From American Rivers (Chris Williams):

The Colorado River is the focus of a new Google Maps Street View project launched today in partnership with American Rivers. The imagery features the iconic Grand Canyon and marks the first time Google Maps has used the Street View technology on a major whitewater river in the U.S.The project brings renewed attention to the wonder and beauty of the Grand Canyon, as well as the challenges facing the Colorado River’s health. American Rivers named the Colorado River America’s Most Endangered River in 2013 because of the threat of outdated water management, over-allocation and persistent drought.

Supported by the outfitter Arizona River Runners, American Rivers staff joined Google Maps on an eight-day float through the Grand Canyon in August 2013 to capture the river imagery. The Street View camera, on a special mount built for the raft, captured a full 360-degree photo sphere every few seconds. This allows users to “join the raft” and explore 286 miles of the river, from Lee’s Ferry to Pearce Ferry. Members of the team also wore the Street View Trekker camera to capture five popular side hikes, including the trail to the Nankoweap Granaries with a dramatic view overlooking the river.

“We are excited to work with Google Maps to highlight the Grand Canyon, one of our country’s crown jewels,” said Chris Williams, senior vice president for conservation at American Rivers, and a participant on the trip. “From the towering red rock walls to the thrilling rapids, the Street View project captures the magic of this special place. We hope this project inspires people to take action to protect and restore the Colorado River.”

“Making Street View imagery available of the Colorado River is a tremendous opportunity for us to drive interest for this historical and natural landmark,” said Karin Tuxen-Bettman, Project Lead for Colorado River Street View. “We hope this inspires viewers to take an active interest in preserving it.”

More Colorado River Basin coverage here and here.

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