Google Project Simplifies Adventure Planning, Invites You to Help

Adventure Planning Helped by Google Trekker
Google Trekker for Adventure Planning

Adventure Planning at It’s Best!

Google unleashed it’s backcountry ‘street view’ last summer  as part of their quest for the perfect online map. That’s right, adventure planning from home is going to be a cinch once they’ve completed mapping all of your favorite outdoor destinations. Imagine being able to investigate the Grand Canyon and ‘walk’ it’s trails from your computer to decide if it’s really the vacation spot you’re hoping for…oh wait, you already can!

Become a Virgle Pioneer

Now, they’re putting their trekking camera up for grabs (a 40-lb., 15 five megapixel camera) to groups that pass the application process so that they can broaden the reach of their program. From the public application form:

If you represent an organization such as a tourism board, non-profit, government agency, university or research group that would like to take photos with the Trekker for future inclusion on Google Maps, please fill out this form. Tell us more about your proposed locations and upcoming trips, and we’ll get back to you if/when there’s an opportunity for us to partner with you on a Trekker collection. Thanks!

Help get the word out to groups you think might qualify – and note, part of the application asks if sponsorship will be required!

What’s the Next Step in Adventure Planning for Google Maps?

We can’t help but wonder where this Google exploratory push will head towards next, but we’re excited to find out. Will the next step be Google Paddling Trails? We’re curious to find out!

Google+ Communities, Growing Niche Networks for Paddlers

We try stay on top of growing social media trends to connect with as many people as we can and that means spending time on the networks that people like to use. Google+ has been one of the latest trends and we’re very proud of our niche paddling communities and how much they’ve grown over the last couple months. The Community feature provides users the opportunity to participate in specialized discussion in just about any topic you can imagine.

While we’re a member of several, we’re particularly excited about our Kayaking Community where paddlers discuss products, share news & articles, post photos and much more. It’s a fun group and you get to see some unique paddling content all in one spot – take this recently posted whitewater fiction piece, for example.

The other community we’re happy to be a moderator for is the Google+ Kayak Fishing Community which brings paddling anglers together to talk about resources, trip reports, local tournaments, products and just about anything relating to kayak fishing. This is a very active community that also has tons of unique content and you’ll just have to check it out to see what I mean.

Check us out next time you are browsing Google+, and be sure to give our ACK profile a +1!

Joseph @ACK

Google Hangout: Hatch Installation

Venus 11 Hatch Kit

Time: 6:00 PM CST

Date: Jan. 21st, 2012

How to View Broadcast:

Google+ Members: Click here to enter the Hangout

Non Google+ Members: View the broadcast below at the scheduled time

The Hangout will star ACK’s very own Chris Hackerd, co-owner and VP of store operations, who has offered to lend some of his time to demonstrate how to install a new hatch for your kayak.

Google+ members can view this broadcast either in Google+ or within this blog. Only the first ten Google + members to log in through Google+ will have the option to participate in the Q&A. If you are not a Google+ member you can still view the presentation here. The video will stream live below at the schedule time. Stay tuned!

Google Hangout: Flush Mounted Rod Holder Install

Time: 6:30 PM

Date: Dec. 18th, 2012

How to View Broadcast:

Google+ Members: Click here to enter the Hangout

Non Google+ Members: View the broadcast below at the scheduled time

The Hangout will star ACK’s very own Chris Hackerd, co-owner and VP of store operations, who has offered to lend some of his time to demonstrate how to install a flush mounted rod holder on a kayak.

Google+ members can view this broadcast either in Google+ or within this blog. Only the first ten Google + members to log in through Google+ will have the option to participate in the Q&A. If you are not a Google+ member you can still view the presentation here.

ACK is Now a Google Trusted Store!

Question is, what does that mean? Put simply, Google has evaluated our shipping and customer service and has accepted us to their program (Evaluated over 10,000 orders to date). Now you can shop with confidence that we ship 97% of our orders on time! (We are actively pressing our suppliers for their backorders which are causing us to miss 3% of the time). Hit our site at www.ack.com and mouse over the badge in the lower right for complete details. As you can tell, we are proud of this and we thank for your continued business!

Oh So Social!

I’ve been spending time trying to figure out how to utilize all of our social media networks to better communicate with our customers, vendors, friends and partners. Fact is, our biggest challenge we face is making sure we keep them all up to date. While Facebook may seem to be the end-all be-all social media network, there is so much more out there. After re-evaulating our collection of social media networks it became apparent to me that we really need to organize it all and make it accessible from one place and that we will. In the meantime, I thought it might be beneficial for me to share all of them with you here. Check it out and expect more soon. Be sure to bookmark them and if you are not already a friend, follower or subscriber or, I encourage you to do so. We do our best to keep our communication informative, fun, relevant and up-to-date! – Roland @ACK

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/austinkayak

Facebook (Austin Store) – https://www.facebook.com/ACKAustin

Facebook (San Marcos Store) – https://www.facebook.com/ACKSanMarcos

Facebook (Houston Store) – https://www.facebook.com/ACKHouston

Facebook (Spring Store) – https://www.facebook.com/ACKSpring

Twitter (ACK) – http://twitter.com/austinkayak

Twitter (Kayak Launch Points) – http://twitter.com/launchpoints

Twitter (Rack Boys) – http://twitter.com/RackBoys

Google + (ACK) – https://plus.google.com/101722224525749270723/

ACK Blog – http://www.austinkayak.com/blog

YouTube (ACKTV) – http://www.youtube.com/ACKTVnetwork

Flickr (Kayaking! Photo Group) – http://www.flickr.com/groups/ack_kayaking

Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/austinkayak

Then of course you have all of what we refer to as our social directories such as Yelp and Google Places amongst many others. Just type in “austin kayak” or “rack boys” in either Houston, Austin or San Marcos Texas for local store details and to review us.