Ottawa: Google goes indoors for Canadian businesses

Canada's Independent Yellow Pages




 


Are you seeking to further market your business in Canada? Google has launched a new program for Canadian businesses. It is referred to as “indoor street view”, and is designed to "help businesses attract customers.”


How does it work?  Google elaborates: “Specially trained 'Google Trusted Photographers' provide 360-degree interactive panoramas of the interiors of businesses.”


The “panoramas” which are created are then displayed on Google Maps and Google Places.


Google further describes how businesses achieve further visibility through the introduction of “indoor street views” into Canada.


“Businesses get higher visibility when consumers search on Google maps for a particular type of business in a geographic area, since the Google Places listings are found at the top of the results page.”


Indoor street views are “virtual tours” of businesses.


“Potential customers get a virtual tour of the business, so that they can imagine themselves being at the location to determine if they want to visit in person“.


Google described the testing areas for its pilot project.


“This new program can be found in selected cities and countries. Currently, photographers are documenting businesses in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, New Zealand, France, Japan and the UK. In Canada, some cities included are: London, Kitchener, Ottawa, Windsor and Toronto, Ontario; Montreal, Quebec; Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta; Winnipeg, Manitoba and Vancouver andVictoria, British Columbia.”


Google has eligibility requirements.


To be eligible, a business must have a Google Place page listing which is free. Most businesses can participate in this program, some that have include: restaurants, retail stores, beauty salons, auto dealerships, small dental and medical practices and health clubs such as a yoga facility. Any interested business should ask its local Google Trusted Independent Photographer if it is eligible to be photographed. This is a paid service provided by the photographers.

Businesses owners who want their location photographed can find a photographer on Google's website at http://maps.google.ca/help/maps/businessphotos/get-started.html. More information about this program is provided on the Google site http://maps.google.ca/help/maps/businessphotos/index.html.


Google also describes its “Point of Interests”.


Google Business photographers also provide a set of "Point of Interest" images pertinent to a business such as: store hours, menus, awards, and interesting decor. Owners of the business may upload their own photos in addition to the ones provided by the Google photographers.


Google relies on certified photographers.


“Google photographers are accomplished independent professional photographers who are participating in this program. They have been certified by Google to produce 360 degree panoramas.”


If you are an Ottawa areas business, Google has supplied contact information.


“If you're in the Ottawa area and would like to have a Google Virtual tour, please contact PrezenceMedia by email info@prezencemedia.com or by phone at (613) 884-0362.”

Google's new product has added to legal-related privacy concerns which have yet to be redressed on Google's 'outdoor' street views.

 
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