Chesapeake Conservancy creates virtual waterways tour

BALTIMORE —An unusual looking boat is making its way around Chesapeake waterways and it’s on mission to give people views of the outdoors.

Operators of the boat said it will be similar to Google’s street view.

The custom-built pontoon from Richmond, Virginia-based Terrain 360 has a 14-foot mast with cameras taking pictures of the waterway.

Video Credit: WBAL-TV 11

“There are six cameras and it’s all compiled into the computer and then uploaded to the database where it’s all mapped in 360 degrees,” Ryan Crenshaw, of Terrain 360, said.

Chesapeake Conservancy president and CEO Joel Dunn said that they are using the boat to provide virtual tours of waterways, along the nearly 3,000 miles of the John Smith Trail. Dun said such a feat has never been accomplished before.

“It’s a great way to use technology to connect the public with the Chesapeake Bay,” Dunn said. “If they’re going to go kayaking or boating on the bay, they’ll know what it looks like to see the bay if they’re not capable of getting out there.”

The Chesapeake Conservancy has been working on this project for nearly two years. They have virtual tours online and they should have this particular project ready by the end of September or early October.

Dunn hopes the virtual tours will help inspire a love the Chesapeake Bay and when it comes to using public funds in the best way possible for conservation and restoration.

“There’s only a limited amount of money,” Dunn said. “So we better darn well make sure it’s being used in the best places possible.”

 Chesapeake Conservancy
Image Credit: WBAL-TV 11
Original Article URL
News Organization: WBAL-TV 11
Original Author: Jennifer Franciotti