For immediate release: 25 September 2012
Local businesses can now showcase their premises with virtual tours.
A local man, Hamish McDonald, has teamed up with Google to produce virtual tours of the inside of business premises which then feature in Google listings. Hamish is one only a very few photographers accredited by Google in the UK to offer this service called ‘Google Business Photos’.
Hamish employs the same technology as Street View but now the tour does not need to stop at the front door of the business – with Google Business Photos the viewer can continue into the business and browse around the premises seeing the inside in exactly the same way as they did outside. The resultant virtual tour is not only shown on Google but also can be integrated into a business website.
Hamish said “Business owners can now offer a much more engaging first impression to visitors to their website and show off the interior prior to any customer visit. It also enhances the Google Search results, the current focus of which is delivering a more local bias.” Specialist equipment is used by Hamish to create the tours and he had to be trained and certified by Google before he was authorised to provide this service.
A series of 360o still pictures are taken throughout the interior and Hamish uses Google technology to create a virtual tour that users can see on the Google search results. The virtual tour can also be made available for business owners to integrate into their website and social media sites.
One such local business that has been quick to take advantage of this service is The Wheatsheaf Inn, Cuckfield “When we heard that Hamish was offering this virtual tour and that it would be so tightly integrated in Google itself, the decision to go ahead straight away was obvious. We are delighted with the tour Hamish has produced and we do believe that our customers, who maybe have not visited us before, will benefit from seeing our interior and getting a feel for the friendly ambiance we cultivate” said Rob Helliwell, co-owner.
Hunters Estate Agents, with offices in Haywards Heath and Burgess Hill, is another local business that has been quick to seize the opportunity. Jon Clayson, Director said “We are convinced that if we can get people to visit our offices and meet our team then they will learn about our passion and excellence. The Google Business Photos tour differentiates Hunters from our competitors and allows our future customers the chance to gain a sense of the look and feel of our unique and individual offices before they visit.”
Hamish is finding that the scope for his services is for a much wider range of business than he had expected; as well as shops, bars and restaurants he is also speaking to sports venues, motor dealerships and community centres to name a few. In fact almost any building which welcomes the public through its doors could find this new service an exciting way to attract more visitors.
Hamish can be contacted on 07769 334045 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Rob Helliwell of The Wheatsheaf Inn (left) and Hamish McDonald
Notes for Editors
Google Street View is the service that takes you beyond viewing a map on a screen to taking a virtual walk down the street, seeing panoramic views of the real world. Users can navigate their own way around the streets using their mouse and keyboard. It has proved invaluable to millions around the world to see new places or maybe just to check out where exactly a shop is in an unfamiliar street.
Hamish McDonald is 47 and lives in Haywards Heath. He is self-employed and also runs a business that’s helps business owners to use Social Media. His website for Google Business Photos is www.360bizphotos.co.uk.
Hamish is available for interviews and has more photographs.