Google brings free Wi-Fi to Charleston’s Waterfront Park, adds city to Street View program

A Google employee demonstrates a mapping program to a student from Charleston Charter School for Math and Science at Waterfront Park on Friday morning.

Free wireless Internet access is now available at a second public space in downtown Charleston.

Leaders from city government and Google announced the Wi-Fi expansion today at Waterfront Park, the latest public area in which the service is being offered.

It previously was available only in Marion Square.

Mayor Joe Riley was joined by Google’s data center operations manager, Eric Wages, and Charleston Digital Corridor director Ernest Andrade to make the announcement.

“Having this Wi-Fi network makes life easier for people doing business here,” Riley said. “It’s all done at no cost to the taxpayer.”

Waterfront Park is on Charleston Harbor near Vendue Range and Concord Street. Also, Wages announced Google’s expansion of its Street View trekker program, which allows Google Maps users to view places around the world online through 360-degree street-level images.

In Charleston, Street View will include off-road areas that include landmarks.

“The world is not just about roads,” Wages said.

Street View uses a backpack with 15 different cameras that take photos every two to five seconds. Google tested the system in the Grand Canyon recently.

“It was a successful effort,” Wages said.

As part of the expansion, the Street Trekker will map Charleston’s Waterfront Park next.

Wages said it might take a few months before the images are placed on Google Maps.

Read more in future editions of The Post and Courier. Reach Natalie Caula at 937-5594 or