Anuradha ShettyFeb 27, 2013 18:34:08 IST
Seeing is believing, they say, and that holds true even for our day-to-day situations – most of the times, we feel the need to see something or someplace to actually decide if it is all that good (or not!). Shailesh Nalawadi, Product Manager at Google, writes that it is for this reason they created the Google Business Photos programme; and it is open to businesses in India now.
Google Business Photos programme is a Google Maps project that allows consumers to see inside a shop or any business on their computer or smartphone. This program uses Google's famed Street View technology to give users a virtual, 360-degree tour inside a particular business establishment. Interested users can view the imagery on Google Search, Google Maps and Google+ Local Pages. Interested business owners can hire Trusted Agency Photographers to capture the interiors of their establishment. These Trusted Agency Photographers will capture images of displays on the storefront, like business hours, rating details, credit cards accepted and posted menus, in addition to clicking pictures of layout, facilities and merchandise.
Google Business Photos programme now open in India
Nalawadi writes further that before officially launching this program today, they worked closely with thousands of businesses in Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Pune, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Chennai to pilot this program. “Thanks to all the restaurants, bars, retail stores, showrooms and boutiques who welcomed us into their premises. And today, we are pleased to publish these indoor images for the first time,” he adds.
Interested business owners in India can visit http://google.co.in/businessphotos and click on "Get Started". Business owners can also upload photos and videos of their own business to local Google+ pages. By building out pages with visuals and other vital business information such as business hours, offers and more, business owners can allow their potential customers know them better and also know what to expect when they visit the business.
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Nalawadi adds, "Consumers who look online for local businesses can now see more high-quality photos that give them a sense of what a place is really like. For the businesses, this provides an opportunity to visually present their product and services. For example, before visiting a store to purchase an electronic device, consumers can use business photos to evaluate and view the selections offered by various retailers.”
In December last year, Google Search made it easier for users to find Google Business Photos. This way, users have a way of seeing what the inside of a business looks like. Users can now virtually walk-through a business with Google Street View technology. To begin with, users have to click on the "See inside" image on Search to enter the business and then walk around, almost as if they were there.
One can also preview where they want to go with the Street View feature and see inside places with Business Photos to decide on a table or see if it’s better at the bar. There are also features such as voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation, live traffic conditions to avoid the jams and if one wants to use public transportation, they can find information for more than one million public transit stops. To complete the Google Maps ecosystem, it is also releasing the Google Maps SDK for iOS and a simple URL scheme to help developers use Maps when building apps.