Tuesday, August 14, 2012
New Orleans is a uniquely American city. It’s a place with indigenous culture, heart, and soul with our own music, cuisine, and architecture. You can really see and feel its originality and personality walking around our historic streets. In 2008, as Louisiana’s Lieutenant Governor, I had the pleasure of writing about Street View imagery becoming available for our state. Now, as mayor of New Orleans, I'm excited to announce an update of Street View imagery for our region that helps show the rest of the world that New Orleans, and all of Louisiana, are not just rebuilding what was, but we’re also preparing for our future by building back stronger and better than before.
Nearly 7 years after Hurricane Katrina and the federal levee failures in 2005, the resilient people of New Orleans are making remarkable progress. The Street View imagery in Google Maps, which has just been updated today, more accurately reflects the major construction and renewal that’s underway. It’s everywhere you look, from the nearly 2-mile long, 26-foot-high Inner Harbor Navigation Canal (IHNC) Hurricane Protection Barrier to the major construction near downtown that will be the future site of two hospitals and a biomedical research corridor.
As reflected in the Street View imagery, you can also see the major investment being made to revitalize playgrounds, community centers, roads, and parks, like historic Congo Square in Armstrong Park -- the "birthplace of jazz".
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Louis Armstrong Park
Beyond the refreshed, more accurate Street View imagery you can see in Google Maps, you can also sense the incredible spirit of the people who have made our recovery possible. New Orleans is now a hub of entrepreneurship and innovation, and it was found to be the fastest-growing city in America by the U.S. Census. We are hard at work physically rebuilding schools, improving what happens inside the classroom to close the achievement gap for inner city youth, and making progress on education reform. New Orleans was named #1 in America’s Biggest Brain Magnets by Forbes, and Tulane University (which is a special collection in today’s release of Street View imagery) is ranked amongst the top schools in the U.S.
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Other important locations in New Orleans now visible directly in Google Maps include Woldenberg Park, Audubon Park, and Lafayette Square. Google has also updated imagery across the state of Louisiana including the cities of Baton Rouge and Lafayette.
New restaurants continue to open in New Orleans, we’re transforming city government, attracting major new corporations, and hosting international sporting events. Our city welcomed nearly 9 million tourists last year, and many more are on the way as we prepare for the 2013 Super Bowl at our newly-renovated Mercedes-Benz Superdome and dozens of other global events.
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We invite you to take a look at the updated Street View imagery of Louisiana to see, appreciate, and celebrate the progress in neighborhoods here in New Orleans and across the entire state. And I welcome you to come experience the sights, sounds, and soul of New Orleans for yourself once you’ve gotten a virtual preview to whet your appetite.