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Google Street View is trekking on Pinellas beaches today

If you see a pair of purposeful backpackers at Anclote Key, Caladesi Island, Clearwater Beach or Honeymoon Island this week, you may want to hide behind your umbrella, lest you end up on camera.

Two Google Street View trekkers are in the Tampa Bay area as part of an 825-mile project to photograph Florida beaches. Both are toting backpacks with 15 camera lenses that snap photos every 2.5 seconds.

The journey will result in millions of pictures that can be stitched together to create a panoramic view and allow people to take beach walks via their computer screens.

"The backpack weighs 40 pounds, but it can feel like 400," joked trekker David DeLong, an ultrarunner who (three times! for fun!) has run 45 miles across the Grand Canyon.

The beach project is a partnership of Google and Visit Florida, the state's tourism agency.

Trekker Sean McGeever, 23, of St. Petersburg, walks the beach at Honeymoon Island Monday while documenting the landscape for Google Maps and Visit Florida. McGeever and his fellow trekker, David DeLong, 55, of Tampa, are walking every mile of Florida's beaches for the project which employs an array of 15 lenses recording images every 2.5 seconds.

DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times

Trekker Sean McGeever, 23, of St. Petersburg, walks the beach at Honeymoon Island Monday while documenting the landscape for Google Maps and Visit Florida. McGeever and his fellow trekker, David DeLong, 55, of Tampa, are walking every mile of Florida's beaches for the project which employs an array of 15 lenses recording images every 2.5 seconds.

Google Street View is trekking on Pinellas beaches today 09/30/13 [Last modified: Monday, September 30, 2013 6:04pm]
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