The maps available online at EarthViews.com currently consist of several of Georgia’s rivers, including the Tallapoosa, Ogeechee, and Chattahoochee.
At the moment, the maps are not complete, but the Georgia River Network plans to map hundreds of miles of Georgia rivers this year, according to a release from the organization.
Joe Cook, guidebook author and paddle Georgia coordinator, was recently on WDUN’s Newsroom and said the digital maps were a great way for people to see a river without physically going to it.
“This will actually give people the opportunity to … try before you buy,” Cook said. “If you were interested in paddling a river, you wanted to see what it looked like actually on the river, then you could get on EarthViews, click on that river, and basically take a tour of the river.”
EarthViews also partners with other organizations to create these immersive maps for waterways across the county. According to the GRN release, the maps have many different uses for waterway conservationists, recreational river users and natural resource managers.
Some of the digital maps' uses include locating points of interest, data collection, digital preservation of waterways, and virtual field trips.
The collaboration with GRN kicked off in March when GRN received a mobile mapping kit. Since then, Joe Cook and volunteers have been capturing images and data while paddling Georgia’s rivers. That data is then published on EarthViews’ map.
GRN’s goal is to map all of the state’s 19 water trails.