Google Business Photo Shoots
Yesterday (5/5/11) Google announced, in it's typical quiet fashion, that they were launching Google Business Photos service. The announcement was at the Social - Loco Conference in San Francisco, CA. The Google Business Photos service is intended to help show potential customers what the inside of a business looks like. Whether you are a restaurant owner, art gallery owner, or a brewery owner, you will now be able to order a photo shoot at your business.
I believe that this will really help out internet shoppers. I cannot tell you how many times I have tried to pick out a restaurant online, but have not been able to find a good place using the owner offered images. Google's Business Photos will provide Google users with 360-degree views of local establishments.
To alleviate the privacy concern, Google has clearly stated that they will not take photos without the owner's consent. After receiving the owners consent they will schedule some time to send their photographers out.
Google states that they are currently only servicing the following areas:
Orange County, CA
Bay Area, CA
San Antonio, TX
St. Petersburg, FL
I would recommend applying now regardless of your location. More than likely this service will be rolled out in more locations soon. This is apparent due to the much longer list of cities that are mentioned on the actual application page.
Need more info, check out this fancy new stop-motion video that Google produced.