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Google takes you inside

Posted at: 02/26/2013 6:47 AM
Updated at: 02/26/2013 5:47 PM
By: Christine VanTimmeren

Do you ever wish you could see the inside of a restaurant or business before you get in your car and go there? Now you can.

Say you want to Google the restaurant, “Tapas 177”, type it into Google and in the top right corner of the search, you'll see an option, “see inside.” If you click on that, it will take you to 3D panoramic shots of the inside and outside of the business. By simply using your mouse, you can control where you want to go and what you want to see.

Most of us are used to looking at Google street view where you can see business fronts and essentially drive down an entire street online. Now, you can do that, but inside. It's a fairly new feature and our local businesses that use it say they haven't heard many customers come in and talk about it yet, but they say it's a good business decision that ultimately doesn't cost them much money.

It's the goal of many photographers to get that perfect shot of a person, but it's Adam Hilker's goal to not get anyone in his shot. Hilker is a certified photographer for Google. Whenever a business in upstate New York wants their interior pictures on Google, he gets the call.

Adam Hilker, Google photographer, said, “It's fairly new, but it's growing very fast and all over the world actually.”

He's talking about Google street view inside. Instead of just showing you a storefront on Google, you can now see what's indoors. Local businesses like Tapas 177, the Inn on Broadway  and Fox Run Vineyards have done it. And Tuesday, it's Wilkins RV.

Denise Haggerty, Wilkins RV general manager, said, “I think that it will generate traffic. I think it's a great thing for people to be able to see your facility and be comfortable with it and know what you have before they even step foot in it.”

Hilker said, “You can see what kind of merchandise they have, what kind of RVs they have. If it's nice in here, if it's clean.”

The 360-degree shots take you from the outside all the way in and while Google doesn't have statistics about whether this increases business for those who use it yet,  Denise Haggerty says she's hopeful.

Haggerty said, “To have Google’s name and how good they are coming to small businesses like us in Rochester,  New York is phenomenal.”

The Rochester Business Alliance helped organize Tuesday's shoot for Wilkins RV and they are willing to help other businesses as well.  The businesses are responsible for paying the photographer.  Prices range from around $500 for a small business to $1,700 for a large department store. Hilker expects the photos from Wilkins RV to be uploaded within the next couple days.

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