fbpx

ON THE GOOGLE MAP Discover Lehigh Valley one of first in state to use panoramic camera for tourism promotion

Jeremiah Reardon, left, Discover Lehigh Valley intern, and Ryan Hogan, director of marketing for Discover Lehigh Valley, discuss potential images at Walking Purchase Park in Salisbury Township. The park is one of 57 Greater Lehigh Valley tourist spots in the Google Street View Trekker program. - (Photo / Jennifer Glose)

What began as the first regional economic development organization in the Lehigh Valley is now a rebranded Discover Lehigh Valley that again is blazing a trail.

What began as the first regional economic development organization in the Lehigh Valley is now a rebranded Discover Lehigh Valley that again is blazing a trail.

This time, literally.

The tourism organization that formed in 1984 and in 2010 rebranded into Discover Lehigh Valley is upping the ante as one of the first organizations in the state to use a Google Street View Trekker camera.

The camera captures panoramic images of walking and biking trails, parks and tourists spots throughout the Greater Lehigh Valley – images that will be edited by Google into 360-degree interactive panoramic maps that will be accessible to the more than one billion monthly active users of Google Maps services.

The Google Street View Trekker program is an innovative way for Discover Lehigh Valley to gain exposure for the Greater Lehigh Valley, and in turn attract more visitors to the region and remind residents of its attractions.

The 50-pound, back-pack-like Google Street View Trekker camera arrived at Discover Lehigh Valley in September and has been to nearly 57 spots in the region, including Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom, Coca-Cola Park, Lehigh Valley Zoo and trails in Walking Purchase Park in Salisbury Township.

There is no cost associated with the use of the on-loan camera, and businesses and organizations have used one of them in more than 68 nations, capturing images that include the Grand Canyon, Canadian Arctic and Galapagos Islands.

“We are proud to … show off all that [the] Lehigh Valley has to offer visitors and residents,” said Discover Lehigh Valley president Mike Stershic. “Google Trekker allows us to show lesser-known, off-the-beaten-path venues firsthand.”

In using Google Trekker, one of the targets for Discover Lehigh Valley is to lure visitors from outside the area, said Ryan Hogan, director of marketing for Discover Lehigh Valley. The hope is that the images tell an “emotional-based tale” that allows the potential visitor to arrive at his or her own conclusion, Hogan said.

“We highlighted areas that might be of interest to those visiting the area,” said Kaitie Burger, social media and communications manager for Discover Lehigh Valley. “You could take a regular photo of anything, but having the ability to click through point by point and see the first-person view is something that only Google Maps can offer.”

Jennifer Glose
Reporter Jennifer Glose covers health care, Berks County and other topics. She can be reached at jenniferg@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 111.

Business Journal Events

2020 Real Estate & Development Symposium

Thursday, March 12, 2020
2020 Real Estate & Development Symposium

2020 Forty Under 40 Awards

Wednesday, April 22, 2020
2020 Forty Under 40 Awards

Women of Influence Awards

Monday, May 11, 2020
Women of Influence Awards

Health Care Symposium

Thursday, August 06, 2020
Health Care Symposium