CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP/WCIV) - A new tech project designed to show off Charleston's technology efforts to residents and visitors alike is taking off.
Officials of Google and the City of Charleston announced the details of the Google Street View national tour Friday at a news conference at the city's Waterfront Park.
The event was attended by Mayor Joe Riley, Charleston Digital Corridor CEO Ernest Andrade and Eric Wages, the manager of the Google Data Center in Berkeley County.
The street view project lets users explore places around the world through 360-degree street-level imagery. Google Map Maker gives users the power to edit Google's maps to highlight local points of interest.
Google cameras that are usually seen on cars will be attached to backpacks which Google's Street View Trekker team will carry through local areas of interest. The first place to get captured will be Marion Square.
Charleston and Google officials also announced an expansion of the free Wi-Fi access in city parks. Local folks and visitors will now be able to connect to the Internet in Waterfront Park along with Marion Square.
"We are very excited to expand our relationship with Google and Charleston Digital Corridor to offer residents and visitors several hotspots to connect to the Internet," said Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley in a release. "Having this Wi-Fi network makes life easier for people doing business here and helps our tourists find the attractions they want to visit. And in the case of the trekker, get a sneak peek of the places before you visit. It's all done at no cost to the taxpayer."
The Digital Corridor helps startup knowledge and computer-based businesses with incentives, training and finding employees. During the past five years it has worked with 51 companies, which have created 200 jobs and about $15 million in payroll.
"One of Google's main goals is to make it easier to find the things you need on the Internet," said Eric Wages, Google operations manager at the Berkeley County data center. "We're best known for our search tools, but you need an Internet connection to do a search. The Wi-Fi connections in Waterfront Park and Marion Square will make it easier for everyone to find the next thing to do in historic Charleston."
The Wi-Fi network is now live and available to the public.