More Details about the Google Maps Business View Program
When your clients and prospective clients search on-line for your business using Google, Google Maps or Google Local, one of the options presented to them will be your Google Local+ page. Google has created these pages for virtually every business. If you find that your business does not have a Local+ page, you can create one here. When a client views the Local+ page if your business has a 360° virtual tour they will be given the option to see inside. If your business is off a main road it can also be directly connected to the Google Street View point closest to the front of your business offering a seamless transition from the road directly into your establishment.
When your client clicks on the see inside link they see the following tour. They can follow the arrows to move through your business, zoom in on details, even expand the tour to full screen on their PC.
As you can see these tours can also be embedded in your own website fairly easily. As the business owner you are free to use the maps for your own purposes.
The process of taking all of the images to create your 360° virtual tour is dependent upon the size of the establishment. Please plan on one hour to one hour and a half for larger businesses to get all of the required photos done. For best results you will want to have your shoot scheduled for before the business is open to the public, however the technology does allow for easily identified individuals and private information to be blurred out of the panoramas so it is possible to shoot while your business is open.
Point of Interest Photos
There are several mandatory Point of Interest photos that are taken with every shoot. These include viewpoints such as: the exterior of your business; several interior shots; photos of the interior decor and merchandise; hours of business; payment methods and for restaurants: photos of the menus and for other businesses photos of a business card. For restaurants, if available at the time of the shoot, we can include some basic shots of menu items. However we would advise you to schedule a proper commercial shoot of these items for the optimal image quality. Typically 10 to 20 of the images are uploaded to Google servers with your tour. You will receive these images on a DVD upon payment for your shoot and they are available for your own business use.
Some examples of POI shots. Click on the thumbnail image to view larger.
Before we come in to shoot your business, you may want to think about some specific items that you want photos of as POI shots. Having these items ready and picked out ahead of time helps the shoot move faster and gets us out of the way of your clients!
Local+ Page views
Your Local+ page will show up on a variety of devices. Here are some examples of the Local + displays on IOS (Apple) and Android Devices.
We have been able to test on several IOS (Apple) and Android devices with the Google Maps application and all tours and POI photos are available to your clients. We have tested with an older Windows Phone 7 device and the Local+ page is displayed via Google Maps in the browser but the images or tours are not. We are trying to get a Windows 8 Phone device for testing and will advise here. We have not been able to test on a Blackberry as of yet, but if a Google Maps App exists for the Blackberry then we believe that the tours would be available there.
- We will come out to your business and provide a free estimate on the cost of the shoot.
- We will schedule the photo shoot to work with your schedule.
- On the appointed day and time we will come in for the shoot.
- We will take the images back for processing and link the imagery together to create the tour.
- We will publish to the Google Servers.
- We will come back with your DVD of images, once the tour has been published on-line, and show you how to access your Local+ page.
You will want to prepare your business for the shoot the day before, a little cleaning, removing any items you may not want included in the photos and pick some products or items that you would want showcased in your photos.