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Google Map my river

Georgia River Network Paddle Georgia coordinator, Joe Cook, maps 11 miles of Spring Creek while...
Georgia River Network Paddle Georgia coordinator, Joe Cook, maps 11 miles of Spring Creek while scouting for an upcoming Georgia River Network paddle trip.(GRN)
Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 7:18 AM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - As river recreation continues to increase in the wake of the pandemic, the Georgia River Network is partnering with EarthViews to create “Google Street View-Style” maps of Georgia rivers.

This technology will help educate people about these critical waterways, as well as help scientists with research and river management.

With plans to map hundreds of miles of Georgia Rivers during 2021, Georgia River Network is leading the way in using digital mapping technology to help educate people about these critical waterways, as well as help scientists with research and river management.

EarthViews introduced waterway maps in 2016 when they mapped the Elwha River in Washington state forty-eight hours after the largest dam removal project in history. Since then, EarthViews has partnered with organizations, federal, state, and local agencies including the National Park Service and National Geographic to map thousands of miles of rivers around North America and Africa.

EarthViews vision is to use modern mapping technology to connect people to critically important aquatic ecosystems. To accomplish this vision EarthViews developed an application to bring waterways to your desktop, mobile, or VR device via easy-to-use, publicly available, interactive maps.

Visitors to the EarthViews website can explore 360 degree, interactive maps from the point of...
Visitors to the EarthViews website can explore 360 degree, interactive maps from the point of view of a paddler. Boaters can locate points of interest, educate with virtual field trips, scope areas for recreational activities, collect data, visualize waterway data in context, digitally preserve the waterway by creating a baseline of current conditions, and “know before you go.”(GRN)

These reality-based maps have many uses for waterway conservationists, rivers users, and natural resource managers including:

● Locate points of interest.

● Educate with virtual field trips.

● Scope areas for recreation activities.

● Collect data.

● Visualize waterway data in context.

● Digitally preserve the waterway, creating a baseline of current conditions.

● See it before you get there to enhance waterway emergency management and navigation.

In March when it joined the EarthViews mapping partnership program, Georgia River Network received an easy-to-use mobile mapping kit. Since then, GRN’s Paddle Georgia coordinator, Joe Cook and volunteers have been capturing imagery and data while paddling Georgia’s rivers. The data is then downloaded to EarthViews portal and processed by EarthViews for publication on EarthViews’ growing Map of Waterways.

For Cook, who is working on Georgia River Network’s guidebook series to Georgia rivers in cooperation with the University of Georgia Press, the technology is another way to assure the information provided about rivers is accurate.

“When traveling and documenting rivers, I take notes on paper maps,” Cook said, “Having photographic documentation of every foot of the river supplements these notes. And, for river users, Earthviews maps are the equivalent of “try it before you buy it.” As we document more rivers, it should make our rivers more accessible and safer because you can see what you’re getting into before ever putting your boat in the water.”

Since January, the Georgia River Network has documented sections of the St. Marys, Suwannee, Ogeechee, Tallapoosa, Chattahoochee, Flint, Ocmulgee, Ohoopee, and Satilla rivers, as well as Spring Creek and South Chickamauga Creek. The organization’s goal is to map all of the state’s 19 established water trails.

Photo captions:

Visitors to the EarthViews website can explore 360 degree, interactive maps from the point of view of a paddler. The maps can be used to locate points of interest, educate with virtual field trips, scope areas for recreational activities, collect data, visualize waterway data in context, digitally preserve the waterway by creating a baseline of current conditions, and support “know before you go” practices to enhance waterway emergency management and navigation.

Georgia River Network Paddle Georgia coordinator, Joe Cook, maps 11 miles of Spring Creek while scouting for an upcoming Georgia River Network paddle trip. Learn more about upcoming trips at this link: https://garivers.org/grn-events/.

Sarah Taylor, Communications Coordinator for the Georgia River Network.

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