Having been a pretty active networker for around 5 years now I’ve met people from a wide range of businesses and though I meet some wonderful people, there’s not often an occasion where they tell me about their product or service and it really makes me go, “Wow!” Yet exactly that happened today at 4Networking Oxford, thanks to a chance meeting with photographer Nikhilesh Haval.
Nikhilesh is an architectural photographer who has won the first licence in Oxfordshire to take 360 degree photographs of the interior of buildings for Google. Now 360 photography is nothing new, I grant you – in fact I even have an app on my phone that lets me take 360 degree photos – but the photos Nikhilesh takes are then integrated into Google Street View – which effectively means you can “virtually” walk along a street in Street View mode and then follow an arrow and be inside a shop, restaurant, pub or other building!
Nikhilesh showed me a couple of the buildings he’s photographed and I’ve been having a play around this evening too, and this technology really is awesome. I have just “walked” along Broadway in Didcot and then turned into Salinas Cafe, and as well as seeing all the streets I get to see the tables, the food, the decor too! Try it for yourself – go here and you’ll see Salinas just behind the bus stop – click the arrow pointing towards it and see what happens! The integration between the street views and the interior shots is seamless, and if I search on Google for “Salinas Didcot” I can instantly get the interior view too through their Google Places entry.
The implications for this new development are huge. For example, Nik has also taken photos of Dorchester Abbey, so that couples looking for a wedding venue can check out the interior of the abbey online before deciding whether or not to make an appointment to view. Of course you could also use this for hotels, conference centres, restaurants …. the opportunities for businesses to use this technology are endless.
Anyway, I was really excited by it, and I wish Nikhilesh all the best with his venture! You can find out all about the new Google Business Photos here, and Nikhilesh’s own site is here – he has some stunning images on there.
I’d love to know what you think – if you had a business with a physical presence – shop, restaurant, cafe etc – would you find a Google interior view useful?