Trekker turns off his camera after months of mapping Ipswich
AFTER three million steps and hundreds of kilometres worth of the region mapped, Josh 'the bear' Kerr has dropped the Google Trekker tower for the last time.
At noon today, the boffins from Google returned to collect their camera, five months after the bear first strapped it on.
Since April the bear has walked the region's trails, been in a hot-air balloon and taken to the track at Queensland Raceway for Google Street View.
In about six months his footage will be uploaded, allowing anyone to get a taste of Ipswich before they visit.
Walking most weekdays for about six hours, the bear had bitter-sweet emotions when he dropped the camera today for the last time.
"It's been very interesting, it's been a real trial for my physical endurance but overall it's been a great experience,” he said.
He admitted the 3 million steps in five months was "pushing the upper reaches of my usual step count”.
Tomorrow, the bear will enjoy a decent breakfast after his long sleep last night.
"It feels like I've lost an incredible amount of weight and a friend,” he said.
Google Trekker worked by capturing 360-degree images every two-and-a-half seconds via 15 cameras, to create an immersive experience of landscapes for people to see and explore.
The dints and scratches on the green machine prove it's been worked hard by the bear and his Discover Ipswich team.
"I'm sad it's over but I'm also happy that I was part of it that we did get through this and put Ipswich on the map,” he said.
"It's been great finding places I never knew existed.”
He said a highlight was visiting Flinders Peak and the Hidden Vale Adventure Park.
Everywhere the bear went people were keen to learn more about the device and grab a picture.
"A lot of people were super curious and we got a lot of selfies,” he said.
Before he became the trekker, the bear worked as an activities guide at Spicers Peak Lodge.
The bear has gone from council contractor to a fully-fledged member of the Discover Ipswich team.
After his long sleep, he will work to take visitors on walking tours across the region.