- Associated Press - Sunday, August 17, 2014

ANGOLA, Ind. (AP) - A northern Indiana county’s tourism bureau is turning to a drone to give potential visitors a better look at what the area has to offer.

The Steuben County Tourism Bureau has hired contractor Chris Sanchez to create aerial videos of attractions including Pokagon State Park and Angola Balloons Aloft over 12 months.

“We want to make sure to capture the beauty of the area during all four seasons,” said June Julien, executive director of the bureau. “We want to showcase the natural beauty of the area and increase our visitation.”

Julien said she thinks it’s the first time an Indiana tourism agency has used a drone.

“We wanted to stand out and offer something others are not at this point,” Julien said.

The bureau enlisted Sanchez, who has done previous work for it, to start filming in July. The drone has an attached camera that shoots high-resolution video from about 125 feet in the air. Sanchez controls it from the ground and uses global positioning satellites to help guide it.

“This type of photography is an awesome benefit, especially when it comes to capturing unbelievable nature scenes like Steuben County,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez said most of his footage comes from public areas, such as Lake George, Pokagon and Trine State Recreation Area. He gets permission before flying over private areas and seldom flies directly over people.

Federal Aviation Administration rules prevent Sanchez from being paid for the video obtained by the drone. The tourism bureau will pay him $7,000 to edit it.

The tourism bureau plans to post short video clips on its website as Sanchez films throughout the year. Once the entire 12 months is shot, a compilation of Sanchez’s work will be created.

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Information from: Herald Republican, http://www.heraldrepublicanonline.com/