Google Maps takes us inside shops

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Google’s online map service is allowing small businesses such as shops, gyms, restaurants to provide viewers glimpses of what exists beyond facades seen on its Street View.

A test program launched in April of last year was bearing fruit in a growing array of panoramic images taken inside businesses that volunteered to be part of the project.

“We’ve been seeing renewed interest in the past few days because, as promised, we’re getting more imagery online,” Google spokeswoman Deanna Yick told AFP yesterday.

“The 360-degree views are really visually engaging, so we’re glad users are excited,” she continued.

“With this immersive imagery, potential customers can easily imagine themselves at the business and decide if they want to visit in person,” Google Maps product manager Gadi Royz said in a blog post early this year.

Small businesses in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States have been able to invite Street View photographers into their shops to get images then served up with Google online maps.