Clarksville parks are on the map

2018-03-12 | The Evening News and The Tribune

March 12--CLARKSVILLE -- Three of Clarksville's spots for outdoor fun are now on the map -- thanks to a unique technological opportunity.

Potential visitors can now get a 360-view of Lapping Park, Ashland Park and Wooded View Golf Course before they even leave the house. All were plotted by using Google Trekker, a sort of backpack version of the Google cars that map the streets across the world.

Clarksville was the only municipality in the area that used the device when the Indiana Parks and Recreation Association got it on loan in the summer of 2016. Having the images available is something Clarksville Parks communications director Ken Conklin said is a great asset to visitors and to the town.

"There are so many choices right now, so many places you could go, parks you could visit," he said. "Now when someone is researching online and they want to look at Ashland Park or Lapping Park, they can actually get a ground view of the entire facility and help them make that decision.

"Hopefully it will entice people to visit Clarksville."

Conklin said he and two others spent three days plotting the three spots, chosen based on their variety and the chance to use the technology to show the different trails.

"That's kind of why we chose the different places we chose," he said. "Ashland Park is very popular because ... it's the best view of the Louisville skyline. [With] Lapping Park, we wanted to go through the trails in our area. And the golf course -- a lot of people don't know Wooded View exists and it's right there in their backyard."

Conklin said while they're so glad to have the images, actually plotting the areas was kind of tough. Indiana lent the portable equipment to cities and towns across the state who were selected based on bids, and each area got it for several days.

By the time Clarksville got to use it, it was the middle of July and the hottest part of the year. Not to mention the backpack weighs 75 pounds.

"But it was worth it for the great images we have," Conklin said.

In Ashland Park, people can now get a more realistic idea of what it's like to visit. For this one, Conklin and those assisting in the image capturing also continued down part of the Ohio River Greenway.

In Lapping Park, they wound up and around the trails, to help show Clarksville's offerings. And at Wooded View, they followed the trails to give people the best idea of what visiting this course would be like.

"We wanted golfers to be able to walk the entire course without ever having to leave their home," Conklin said. "We walked straight down the fairway on every hole...all the hills and going through trees."

Google Trekker has been used to map some of the world's most famous and beautiful places -- Taj Mahal, the Grand Canyon and the great pyramids of Egypt among them.

That's another reason Conklin said the town was so lucky to get to use the trekker. Although they have more parks than were mapped, he said he's not sure when or if the chance to use the equipment might come up again.

"We were very fortunate to get it," he said. "I doubt we'll get another chance like that."

Aprile Rickert is the crime and courts reporter at the News and Tribune. Contact her via email at aprile.rickert@newsandtribune.com or by phone at 812-206-2115. Follow her on Twitter: @Aperoll27.