Last week Google and American Rivers announced a partnership that brings Google’s “Street View” to a river. Specifically, they’re working on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. For the first time ever you can ride through all 286 miles of the chasm in 360-degree photo spheres without leaving your house.

While part of me hates this, I understand what a powerful tool it is. How many of us are ever going to raft down the entire length of the one of the most amazing canyons in the world? I would guess a small percentage. It’s certainly at the top of my bucket list, but until then you can bet I’ll be taking a tour of the rapids and my future camp sites via Google.

I wonder how long until Google brings this technology to other “less famous” rivers? Rivers we fish or boat or want to some day… Will kids be happy simply taking a virtual tour of the Grand Canyon, or will it make them want to get out there and really do it? Will people use this technology to plan trips or scope out future fishing holes? Perhaps Google will map popular rivers at many different CFS levels for recreation, science and safety measures. It’s an interesting technology and time will tell how and where it’s used on our waterways.

This from the American Rivers Site: “When you’re ready to explore, pull up and type in “Colorado River.” Then drop the yellow pegman (he’s found bottom right on the screen) onto the big blue line that appears on the Colorado River and you’ll jump right into the raft with us! Here’s a great video that shows how it’s done (and some fun stretches of Colorado River Street View in hyperlapse!”

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