App gives ‘street view’ of PRNPR

Google is sprinkling some West Coast magic across the globe.

A partnership between Parks Canada and Google Street View has brought web surfers the opportunity to experience the Pacific Rim National Park through virtual exploration.

“Parks Canada and Google have forged a partnership to document and place a wide selection of Parks Canada’s iconic destinations within Google Street View,” Pacific Rim National Park visitor experience manager Karen Haugen told the Westerly News.

“This provides Canadians, and anyone anywhere in the world, with a virtual experience that enables them to explore and discover the highlights of all of our special places in Canada.”

Google began capturing the scenery within Pacific Rim in early 2013 and came back this year to boost their footage.

Haugen said the Park provided a support team to help Google’s image capturers get into every nook and cranny the Park has to offer.

This offering includes the Broken Group Islands, Long Beach, the Rainforest Trail, and the South Beach Trail, which served as Group of Seven painter Arthur Lismer’s natural muse.

“These maps can help you find your way but they can also help you lose yourself on the gorgeous beaches, rainforest trails, and scenic islands we have here in Pacific Rim,” Haugen said.

“It’s going to make you see these amazing pictures and scenery that we have here in Pacific Rim and make you want to touch it.”

Haugen believes the project will entice visitors to the Park and will provide seasonal Park users with images of the seasons they’re missing out on.

“It entices them to want to see more,” she said.

“If you’re somebody who really didn’t know much about the Broken Group Islands and you’ve been thinking of kayaking, you can now go on there and see the Broken Group Islands and go, ‘Wow I’m kayaking there.”

Anyone wanting to check out what Google has put together to spread the Park’s imagery far and wide can do so by typing Pacific Rim National Park into the search bar at Google Maps or Google Earth. Haugen said the Park would monitor the project’s success through visitor surveys and feedback.

reporter@westerlynews.ca