Google's Street View team to canvass city
Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2012 00:09
Some Burlington businesses are about to get a boost courtesy of Google.
Google Map Street View’s team of contractors will be coming to Burlington Oct. 19-21 to capture the inside of local restaurants, businesses and hotels, according to Jim Hilker, a photographer for Street View.
Since it was introduced in 2007, Google Map Street View technology has given Web users the ability to be somewhere without having to actually be present by providing 360-degree panoramic tours of exterior and interior spaces.
“For the business, it does a number of important things, but first and foremost is the way in which it helps local ‘spend-ready’ people make their decision on where to go,” he said. “They can now look inside a business, pick a nice table in a restaurant or find a piece of art they’ve been looking for.”
The process is simple: a Google contractor takes a series of 360 degree panoramic images at specific points in a business, beginning outside and progressing throughout the establishment, Hilker said.
Users can then “walk” through the building and zoom in closer to browse products, signs, displays and art. As an added bonus, the businesses can feature a link to the Street View tour on their website and Facebook page, thereby giving customers the ultimate previewing experience.
Interested businesses may register for participation at www.streetviewindoors.com. So far, Burlington’s Google Map Street View features mostly restaurants and hotels including Handy’s Lunch, Junior’s Downtown, the Ice House restaurant and bar and the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center.
As of May, Street View technology has even created a tour for a college in New York and has plans to feature tours of six other New York state universities this year.
“With a tour of all buildings on campus, colleges can use it as a tool for recruitment,” Hilker said. “And it’s affordable. For less than $10,000 a college can have us photograph everything.”
This feature could become a staple on college websites as many universities try to recruit international students, Hilker said.
With the new technology, customers with smartphones will be able to tour an establishment when it is displayed on a GPS.
It is this function that will make Google Map Street View such a critical game changer for how Burlington businesses do business, Hilker said.
“Since Google is the number one search engine in the world, it is important for businesses to do whatever they can to enhance their search listing and Google presence,” he said.