With temperatures in the 90’s this week, many people would love to spend time out on the water.
Two men are doing just that.
While they’re not relaxing, they’re in the process of creating a virtual map of the Susquehanna River.
Using high-resolution cameras, workers from Virginia-based “Terrain 360” are taking 360-degree images of the entire Susquehanna River.
When they’re done, you will be able to log onto your computer or phone and see the entire river with just a few clicks.
At first glance, you might thing Sam Christy is just enjoying a day on the Susquehanna River.
Once you have seen the hand-made boat he’s on and the six cameras sticking up in the air, you get the sense he’s doing something unique.
“It was marked as one of America’s most endangered rivers and so now we’re trying to bring up awareness,” Sam Christy said.
With his partner Wil Loy and the company Terrain 360, the pair is taking pictures along the entire length of the river from up in New York State down to the Chesapeake Bay.
That’s roughly 440 miles.
All of the images will be put together online so anyone in the world can take a “virtual tour” of the river.
The goal is to get people to connect with the river, appreciate it and become protectors of it.
“I think protection is probably the first thing, especially with the citizens that we’ve talked to coming down the river. It’s a big concern. They want to protect it. They want to keep it clean or clean it up even more than it is,” Wil Loy, Chief Operations Officer with Terrain 360 said.
As the custom pontoon raft powered its way through Wyoming and Luzerne Counties Thursday, snapping pictures all along the way, the pair saw a lot of flood damage from years past.
“There are entire hillsides that are collapsed and tree roots are just sticking out bare so you know that changed,” Loy said.
Going at a clip of about eight or nine miles an hour, the pair averages about 50 miles a day since they can’t travel in any rain.
By night, the pair camps out.
By day, they hope their efforts will soon show others what an adventure on the water would be like.
“There’s nothing wrong with being on the river all day long!” Christy said.
The pair has already been on the water for eight days. They still have quite a distance to go.
Terrain 360’s Virtual Tour of the Susquehanna River should be online before the end of the year.
The best part is, thanks to the Chesapeake Conservancy who is funding the project, it will be free for anyone who wants to see it.