Josh Kerr mapped Ipswich with the Google Trekker in 2018. Now he is ready for a new journey.
Josh Kerr mapped Ipswich with the Google Trekker in 2018. Now he is ready for a new journey.

How local businesses will benefit as Ipswich is mapped again

TWO years ago, Ipswich was compressively mapped by Josh ‘The Bear’ Kerr after three million steps and hundreds of kilometres over five months.

With the Google Trekker on his broad back, more than 50 locations were captured by 360-degree images taken every two-and-a-half seconds.

These included the climb up Flinders Peak, the historic mansion at Woodlands of Marburg, the Ipswich Nature Centre and luxury country resort Spicers Hidden Vale.

Josh 'The Bear' Kerr is ready for Ipswich Trekker 2.0.
Josh 'The Bear' Kerr is ready for Ipswich Trekker 2.0.

Now Mr Kerr is ready for another journey that won’t be quite as physically demanding.

Ipswich City Council is one of 200 organisations across the globe to be invited to participate in a program that supports local businesses to enhance their Google Maps, Google My Business and Google Street View listing for free.

Ipswich Trekker 2.0 will involve the mapping of internal experiences and venues around the city.

Instead of carrying about 18kg of equipment, Mr Kerr will be using a camera weighing less than 182g.

The camera can create an immersive 360-degree panoramic view of internal spaces and the new campaign is expected to take about two months.

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“Ipswich Trekker put us on the map,” mayor Teresa Harding said.

“We’re one of a few places globally to be mapped in such detail, showing off our many beautiful locations and attractions.

“We want to make it easier for visitors to plan their trips, whether it be for the day, a weekend or a week in the heritage city.”

More than two million people visited Ipswich last year.

The original venture led to Ipswich becoming one of the most comprehensively mapped cities in the southern hemisphere.

The council says since then, visitation to Ipswich’s nature and conservation areas had jumped six-fold.

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Woodlands of Marburg director David Ritchie said he had seen the benefits of the original Ipswich Trekker project.

“It has allowed potential visitors to virtually tour our facility,” he said.

“During COVID-19 while potential corporate or wedding clients could not physically visit us they were virtually able to tour our property and see what we had to offer on Google Street view.”

You can register your interest by visiting here.

Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.



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