Potential customers get a virtual tour of the business, so that they can imagine themselves being at the location to determine if they want to visit in person. This new program can be found in selected cities and countries. Currently, photographers are documenting businesses in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, France and the UK. In the U.S., cities included are: Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, the Bay Area, Miami, Denver, Tampa, Orlando, Austin, Salt Lake City, Charlotte, Washington D.C., Boston, Portland, Seattle, Atlanta, and Phoenix.
To be eligible, a business must have a Google Place page listing which is free. Most businesses can participate in this program. Some that have include: restaurants, retail stores, beauty salons, auto dealerships, small dental and medical practices and health clubs such as a yoga facility. Any interested business should ask its local Google Trusted Independent photographer if it is eligible to be photographed. This is a paid service provided by the photographers.
Businesses who want their location photographed can find a photographer on Google’s website at http://maps.google.com/
Google Business Photos photographers also provide a set of "Point of Interest" images pertinent to a business such as store hours, menus, awards, and interesting decor. Owners of the business may upload their own photos in addition to the ones provided by the Google photographers.
Google photographers are accomplished independent professional photographers who are participating in this program. They have been specially trained to produce 360- degree panoramas.
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Karen I. Hirsch is an award-winning professional commercial, editorial and fine art photographer based in Chicago. Her photos have been published internationally in books, magazines, newspapers, calendars and online. She is a Google Trusted Photographer.