Bear, the man who’ll capture the city in pictures

On social media, he calls himself “The Bear Master”. He says that sometimes gets confused with “beer master”. But he’ll take both. It’s now that his love for life sends him on his latest adventure.

At 24 and standing a neat 2m tall, Joshua Kerr will for 60 days wear a Google Trekker device fitted with 15 cameras, on his back while he walks, rides, paddles and documents the city’s scenic gems.

Josh is no stranger to the outdoors – he works as an activities guide for Spicers Peak Lodge and he grew up in the Ipswich region.

The former Amberley District State School and West Moreton Anglican College student has developed a keen interest in hiking in recent years, enjoying both the fitness and photography elements – as well as the views from the top!

It’s not only Ipswich’s best-known hiking and mountain biking destinations he’ll be experiencing. In all, The Bear will make his way around 40 different locations across the Ipswich region with the 18kg trekker device strapped to his back, its cameras shooting every two and a half seconds. There’s a motorsport precinct, a vineyard and even a brewery on his list!

So if you see The Bear in his travels – he’s hard to miss at around 2.5m tall if you include the the bright green device on his back – say g’day. And stay tuned for his captured footage on Google Street View in the months ahead.

Josh was chosen from an enthusiastic field of adventurers who responded to a “Human Wanted” campaign run by Ipswich City Council to find the person who would map the region on foot.

Google’s Street View Trekker is part of the company’s efforts to make the most comprehensive map of the world available to everyone.

The project will put Ipswich on the map in a whole new way.

Mayor Andrew Antoniolli said it would help shine a light on some of the region’s still largely unknown natural, cultural, heritage and adventure attractions.

“Places like Hidden Vale Adventure Park and Flinders Peak are bringing hundreds of adventurers out every weekend and we’re delighted at the prospect of even more people finding out about our hidden gems.

“Once live through Google Street View, the footage Josh captures on his travels around Ipswich will mean anyone in any state or territory, or indeed any country, will be able to get a glimpse of what Ipswich has to offer before they’ve even left home.”

Tourism spokesman Cr David Pahlke was excited to see the latest technology being employed to boost tourism in the heritage city and surrounds.

“This is a really great step in being able to show our region to a whole new audience,” Cr Pahlke said.

“Years ago we could only have dreamed of this kind of technology, yet here it is being used to showcase these hidden gems of ours to the world.”

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