Florida Partners With Google Maps to Document Miles of Beaches

Looking for a unique way to showcase your state or region’s assets? Capitalize on new technology like Visit Florida and its partner Google Maps, which captured more than 7.5 million images of the state’s beaches to help promote tourism.

Four months, 2 million footsteps, and 825 miles later, a team from Florida’s tourism marketing corporation—Visit Florida—recently completed a joint project with Google Maps to document the states’ beaches.

It’s utilizing technology in a unique, innovate way that truly does add value to the potential visitors or meeting planners or location scouts.

Donning a special backpack equipped with a Google Street View camera, the team of trekkers walked the more than 800 miles of accessible beaches to capture 360-degree views of Florida coastline that will eventually be stitched together by Google Maps into virtual panoramic scenes.

“Now people will be able to virtually view and see the incredible diversity of Florida beaches—the big, family beaches; the action-packed beaches; the remote, quiet beaches; historical beaches; even nude beaches I guess,” said Will Seccombe, president and CEO of Visit Florida.

Visit Florida had been working with its partners at Google for several years to develop innovative marketing partnerships and eventually identified this project as a groundbreaking opportunity.

“It was something that had never been done before on a very big scale,” Seccombe said. “It’s utilizing technology in a unique, innovate way that truly does add value to the potential visitors or meeting planners or location scouts.”

The virtual maps also provide an opportunity for beachside hotels and resorts, which can post the interactive maps on their websites to help promote their properties. Visit Florida also plans to publish the maps on its website this spring once the more than 7.5 million images have been stitched together and published by Google.

Having 825 miles of coastline to advertise is unique to Florida, but other CVBs can take a note from the state’s partnership with Google Maps.

“The thinking behind it, of using innovative technology, building strong partnerships, and being willing to take on ambitious projects that truly create and add value for not only the industry but for visitors and meeting planners and consumers from around the world, is really where destination marketing is heading,” Seccombe said.

Know any unique ways CVBs or destination marketers are highlighting their locations? Let us know in the comments.

Beach trekker Gregg Matthews poses with a tourist during a break from his Google Maps trek. (Visit Florida)

Katie Bascuas

By Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!