ANNAPOLIS — The Chesapeake Conservancy based in Annapolis has deployed two custom boats, each equipped with six cameras to capture images along the South and North branches of the Potomac River down to Great Falls, Va.
Terrain360, based in Richmond, Va., built the custom watercrafts and will use the images to create a virtual tour called Potomac Riverview, which will bring the beauty of the nation’s river to anyone with an internet-connected device.
The rest of the Potomac will be completed this summer.
High-resolution, 360-degree images are taken every 50 feet by six cameras mounted on the vessels 10 feet above the water’s surface. One of the pontoons is also equipped with a Lidar unit which will create a 360-3D point cloud of the river.
These images will be stitched together to create a digital image map of the Potomac River.
The virtual tour will allow viewers to see first-hand what a paddling experience or other river adventure might be like. The maps produced from the images will include information on public access points, history, recreation and points of conservation value along the river.
They will allow people to explore the river from any internet-connected device.
For more information, go to www.chesapeakeconservancy.org.
The Potomac Riverview will join the Chesapeake Conservancy’s other virtual tours, which include Mallows Bay — Potomac River, the Susquehanna, Nanticoke and James Rivers (sponsored by the James River Association).
In addition to the Potomac, this summer the Chesapeake Conservancy and Terrain360 are working on creating virtual tours of the Rappahannock, the York, and rivers of the northern Bay – the Elk, Northeast and the Sassafras.