Do you own a Canadian business? Does your business have a storefront? Are you seeking to further market your business on the internet?
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.
Google has also supplied contact information.
Google's new product has added to legal-related privacy concerns which have yet to be redressed on Google's 'outdoor' street views.