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Mar 24, 2014 9:39 PM by LiLi Tan, KSBY News

Local map maker changing SLOs story

Dallam Oliver-Lee considers himself a "modern-day explorer." One of a number of citizen map makers around the world, San Luis Obispo's Dallam Oliver-Lee is changing the landscape of the county by volunteering with Google Maps. He spends a couple of hours a day mapping new trails, updating existing paths and putting local parks on the map. "I always liked maps in general and always liked exploring," Oliver-Lee said. Since he started in 2011, Oliver-Lee has mapped nearly 1,000 miles of roads and trails, including portions of the Bob Jones Trail, new neighborhoods in Pismo Beach, even Calle Joaquin, the road leading up to KSBY. "I noticed that when I first started, there were all these different websites provided by the county had hiking and biking trails on their maps, but sometimes they were outdated," Oliver-Lee said. The avid hiker and biker says he would like to be paid for his work; after all, Google's most recent valuable was $395 billion. He only has a backpack Google sent him to show for his three years of work; however, he says his reasons for doing this are more intrinsic. "I primarily did it to get people outdoors, bicycling and hiking," Oliver-Lee said, explaining that there' no one better equipped to do the job than someone who's actually walked the walk. "Having local knowledge [means you] have the upper hand over someone who's doing it remotely, whether it's a Google employee or another volunteer," he said.

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