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Rigolet man maps out 360 degree view of boardwalk for Google Maps

Eldred Allen mapped out the Rigolet boardwalk for Google as part of the Google Maps project.
Eldred Allen mapped out the Rigolet boardwalk for Google as part of the Google Maps project. - Submitted file photo

The wooden boardwalk in Rigolet is a sight to behold. Stretching 7 km long with wildlife and nature shots at every turn, it has been and will continue to be a draw for tourists to the small coastal Labrador community.
Now, people interested in visiting or just seeing the boardwalk, purported to be the longest wooden boardwalk in North America, can view it on Google Maps, courtesy of Rigolet local Eldred Allen.
Allen, who owns a drone company, Bird Eye Inc., in the area said he has been involved with Google for the last few years through their Indigenous Mapping Workshops.
“They take indigenous groups from across Canada and bring them together in one location and teach them how to use Google products to work on whatever is needed for the First Nation or indigenous groups that attend,” he said.
Allen has attended four of these indigenous mapping workshops now and made an application to get a trekker, the backpack that does full-on street view that you see in the major cities.
“Those are harder to be able to get a hold of, because they’re in such high demand. But they just launched being able to get a 360 degree handheld camera to do what they call photospheres. I applied to that and I was successful in getting a loan of one of these cameras. So I started capturing as soon as a received it.”
Allen said it took three days to capture the entire boardwalk and there were many technical details to work out, based on storage and spacing and many other factors. The entire boardwalk, one he had it completed, consists of 559 individual photospheres and then he linked all of those together. 
Allen said right now they get tourists who hear about it and travel to Rigolet just for that experience. 
“If you have individuals or tourists or people from here who can’t get back and want to experience the boardwalk now then can actually go into Google Maps and virtually walk and experience the boardwalk from their own homes,” he said. “Hopefully it’s going to be a marketing tool for the community of Rigolet. If people want to come visit and see it they can virtually experience it first and see what the experience is like before you come here.”
He said right now tourism is something Rigolet is hoping to benefit from, especially with the announcement of Mealy Mountain National Park that is going to be opening up. 
“Rigolet is hoping to become a staging ground for the national park and if you have tourists come in and the longest wooden boardwalk is right there then people will come see it, it could be a huge benefit for our community.”

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