All Michiganders know that cars aren't allowed on Mackinac Island. And since cars aren't allowed on the island, how the heck did Google map it without a car?

How Did Google Map Mackinac Island if They Don't Allow Cars?

Before the days of using Google Maps, people had to get directions a different way. I remember having to print out a MapQuest turn-by-turn directions sheet when I had to drive somewhere new. And of course, before that you had the good ole paper map or just spoken or written out directions.

Then in 2005, Google stepped up their game and came out with Google Maps, making life a whole bunch easier. And then came Google Street View in 2007, which let us virtually travel almost anywhere thanks to a car with a 360-degree camera snapping pics all over the globe.

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But what about those places where the Google car can't go, like our beloved Mackinac Island, Tahquamenon Falls, or Sleeping Bear Dunes? Enter Pure Michigan and Google Trekker, a collaboration born in 2016 to showcase Michigan’s hidden gems.

Deanna Yick, the program manager for Google Street View, put it perfectly: "Just because the road ends doesn’t mean there’s not more interesting sites to see." So true, Deanna, so true.

How Does Google Maps Take Pictures of Places That Don't Allow Cars?

The Google Trekker is essentially a high-tech backpack equipped with a camera and all the necessary gear to capture stunning panoramic images. In an incredible feat of dedication, a dozen volunteers hiked over 75,000 steps and paddled across Michigan’s lakes to snap more than 44,000 photos. Over four weeks, they visited 43 breathtaking locations, bringing Michigan's natural beauty to the web.

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Thanks to their efforts, you can now virtually tour Mackinac Island, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Tahquamenon Falls, and even Ford Field and the Detroit Riverwalk. It's like having Michigan’s best-kept secrets right at your fingertips!

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Curious to see the magic behind it all? Check out the video below to see the Trekker in action and get a glimpse of the stunning 360-degree views it captured. It's a brilliant blend of technology and Michigan's natural splendor—truly something to make any Michigander proud.

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