Below the Surface: Riverview of the Apalachicola

After months of planning, KEEN Ambassador Kristian Gustavson, founder and director of below the surface, has completed the exploration of his first waterway as part of The Riverview Project.

Riverview follows a concept that’s similar to Google Street View, capturing 360 degree imagery of a waterway from source to sea. The project seeks to build an infrastructure of waterway data that can be used for recreational and environmental purposes. The tripod mounted camera is equipped with four wide angle lenses and tracks each photo with GPS so the images can be stitched together to make a video that one can virtually navigate.

For this first exploration, Kristian mapped the Apalachicola River.

The team's route down the Apalachicola

The team’s route down the Apalachicola

The Riverview maps that Kristian is making will lay the foundation for some very interesting possibilities. In the future, scientists can layer in data like stream gauge, water quality, erosion, campsites and paddle trails. Below the Surface is working with USGS, the EPA and Google to ensure that there’s a¬†comprehensive method in place for tracking the vital signs of a river.

The primary goal of the project is to enhance the level of protection granted to waterways by aggregating information and giving the users of these waterways more of a voice. The greater exposure these rivers get, the more they will be protected and the longer they will be preserved for recreational users.

The team has their sights set on the Sacramento river next, with an expedition scheduled to take place in the spring.

More information on The Riverview Project can be found on Canoe & Kayak.