Google boat maps San Francisco Bay

Google has mapped most of San Francisco Bay using cameras attached to a remote-controlled boat, capturing hundreds of miles of shoreline that will be viewable on Google Street View later this year.

Last May, nonprofit group San Francisco Baykeeper announced it had won a $100,000 grant awarded by Google’s Bay Area Impact Challenge to document the shoreline with an aim to prevent pollution and sea level rise.

The idea was to capture not just the gorgeous Golden Gate vistas for online exploration, but also the hidden spots from San Jose to beyond the Carquinez Strait that most land-bound locals never get to see. It might have even captured Google’s barges, had the tech company not already abandoned that mystery last year.

“Shoreline features we will map include industrial sites, wastewater treatment plants, abandoned boats and piers, wetlands, beaches, and recreational sites,” Baykeeper wrote at the time. “As we publish our shoreline maps, Baykeeper will use the information they provide in advocacy efforts to improve protections for vulnerable shoreline areas, including those bordering low-income communities and recreational sites.”

Now, it looks as if the work is nearly complete. ABC7 News sailed out recently with a team from Google and Baykeeper to observe the 16-foot WAM-V boat at work. The TV station reported late Thursday that the work could be finished in the next few weeks and viewable by summer.

Above: Baykeeper staff scientist Ian Wren sent us this photo he took of the WAM-V boat floating in San Francisco Bay.

 

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