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Hawaiian Electric Donation Funds Google Trekker Program

June 22, 2017, 10:04 AM HST · Updated June 24, 7:00 AM
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A $10,000 donation from Hawaiian Electric to The Outdoor Circle will help put 360-degree imagery of many of Hawaiʻi’s impressive sites into Google Maps using the Google Trekker.

‘Ōhi‘a tree in the foreground with the Kilauea Volcano as a backdrop, file photo by Wendy Osher.

The Street View Trekker camera is a wearable 50-pound backpack outfitted with a 15-camera system that collects panoramic imagery every 2.5 seconds to create a virtual tour.

This summer, The Outdoor Circle’s two-man crew will trek throughout the state visually mapping scenic locations valued for their natural beauty, historic significance and other special qualities.

Imagery will be collected from locations on Hawaiʻi Island, Oʻahu, Maui and Kauaʻi along with the potential additions of Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi at a later date. The imagery will be uploaded to Google Maps sometime this fall.

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Hawaiian Electric says the project will promote Hawaii and support conservation efforts.

“As a company doing business in Hawaiʻi for 125 years, we care deeply about being good stewards of the environment,” said Scott Seu, Hawaiian Electric Senior Vice President – Public Affairs. “We’re excited to support The Outdoor Circle as this is an incredible opportunity to spotlight Hawaiʻi’s appeal as a top destination, attract more visitors to stimulate the economy, and raise awareness for the protection and conservation of these islands.”

For the last 105 years, The Outdoor Circle has strived to keep Hawaiʻi clean, green and beautiful through advocacy, beautification events and innovative programs, such as the Google Trekker loan program. Myles Ritchie, The Outdoor Circle’s Programs Director notes, “We are thrilled to be able to work on such a cutting-edge program which will allow for people who are interested locally, nationally and internationally, the ability to experience virtually some of Hawaiʻi’s most unique locations regardless of physical, financial or other limitations. The Outdoor Circle is grateful for Hawaiian Electric’s generosity in supporting us as we carry out this statewide program.”

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The Outdoor Circle donation will be added to Hawaiian Electric’s growing list of “125 Acts of Aloha” for the community as the company commemorates its 125th anniversary. “Acts of Aloha” are charitable donations and service projects benefiting agencies and programs committed to building a more sustainable future for Hawaiʻi.

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