News / Edmonton

Exploring Edmonton businesses online with Google

Edmontonians are used to being able to look at any location in the city from the outside thanks to Google Street View.

But, now they can also take a peek inside local businesses too, with Google Business Photos (GBP).

Using the same Street View technology and operating under Google standards and certification, area photographers can help put businesses on the map by creating panoramas of their storefront interiors and putting them online for users to access through Google Maps.

For example, users can look inside MilArm Co. Ltd – a military supply store as well as a museum – to check out the store layout, products and memorabilia before heading down to the store.

“It showcases what we do, and exposes me to market nobody has seen before," said MilArm co-owner and president Gordon McGowan. "They can come in and look around my store to see if it’s something that interests them. Because of the nature of our store – both the retail side and the museum side – there’s a lot of visual appeal."

Still in its infancy, Google Business Photos isn’t openly promoted by Google, but instead is something there for users to stumble upon and enjoy, said Edmonton GBP-certified photographer Dave Tameling.

“The response continues to grow everyday. There’s nothing but enthusiasm from businesses of all types and sizes. … Because it’s still quite new, there’s not a lot of businesses in the program yet, but by next summer, it will be quite prevalent. I feel, given enough time, it will be the status quo,” Tameling said.

Interested businesses should look for photographers from Google’s list, as it ensures that they have taken the course and testing to reach Google’s standards. Tameling said the process includes taking panoramic photos, stitching them together and uploading them to Google.

More on Metronews.ca