SeaWorld Parks Get the Google Maps Street View Treatment for the Creation of Virtual Walking Tours
Soon, Street View for other popular parks, including Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay and Williamsburg, Va., Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pa., Adventure Island in Tampa and Water Country USA in Williamsburg, will be available. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment operates 10 U.S. theme parks.
Nearly every inch of the 10 theme parks was mapped using one of Google's "Trikes." A state-of-the-art camera automatically gathered photographs from the back of a modified bicycle. Google software then blended the images, creating the famous, interactive and completely moveable 360-degree scenes Street View is known for.
And the best way to make sure every show, splash, adventure and world-class thrill ride was mapped? The 250-pound Trike, complete with camera and GPS mounted on a mast, was pedal-powered by a Google staff member.
"We're thrilled to be among the first theme parks in the world to get the Google Street View treatment," says Joe Couceiro, chief marketing officer for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. "Now, no matter where you are, you can enjoy an online experience of our parks including seeing their scope and diversity while planning your vacation. The only thing missing is getting splashed by the real Shamu or taking on the best roller coasters in the world."
Google Maps began including Street View images in 2007. More than a dozen countries and over one hundred cities now can be seen online.
Street View visits to the parks are accessible via Web and mobile applications. Viewers can start by going to maps.google.com and searching for SeaWorld, Discovery Cove or Aquatica. Then drag the orange "Pegman" icon (found at the top left of the map) for a "walking tour." Among the highlights, also seen in "satellite mode," SeaWorld visitors can look for the world's most famous killer whale, Shamu.