Earlier this year, I was surprised to find this post on Indoor Google Maps was quite popular.
Maybe it was because lots of people weren’t aware of Indoor Google Maps. Maybe it was because we’re all quite nosy, fans of MTV Cribs and the old British favourite, Changing Rooms.
Well, I thought I’d collect some of the coolest examples of Google Business Photos, the indoor equivalent of Google Street View.
These are the weirdest, most wonderful and beautiful 360 degree interactive tours. They appear in Google searches, Google Maps, and Google+ Local.
Anyone can use Google Business Photos (and be successful with them) apart from legal establishments and museums (this imagery is supported through Google Art Project). Admittedly a few of my examples aren’t businesses.
Econsultancy London even got involved (though we’ve recently upped sticks).
So heck, why travel, why leave the house when you can experience all this from your desktop? Enjoy!
If you weren’t aware, Google does indoor maps. If you were aware, you may not have known of the extent of the buildings that have been mapped already. You can view a list of over 10,000 buildings that have been mapped, here.
Users can upload their own building plans, as long as the building in question is public and there’s no problem with copyright or secrecy.
Uploading a building map of your stores, much like John Lewis and House of Fraser in the UK and Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s in the US, is probably a great idea. I’ve previously discussed the smartphone user journey, and indoor maps can slot right in to Google’s domination of that journey.
Even those who aren’t looking for anything specific on their phone, i.e. passing trade, might be tempted by maps. Certainly, if there is any pedestrian traffic outside of your stores, the extra detail may persuade potential customers to step inside, especially if there’s a marker on café, toilets, sportswear, perfume etc. (although the user has to be fully zoomed in to see the indoor map).
The initial benefit, of course, is that lost and tech-savvy customers (teens is likely to be a big demographic) can find their way to whichever desk or concession they need, once inside.
To some shoppers, the idea of needing a Google Map to find the toilets in a supermarket is a bit demoralising – surely we don’t need tech so far engrained in our lives? But, with malls, out of town shopping centres and bigger retail stores a trend that hasn’t abated, I think in retail there’s a good case for indoor maps.
And there are lots of good uses outside of retail, too. Let’s take a look at some of the best uses of indoor maps, taken from Google’s case studies.
Apple just won a billion-dollar lawsuit against its biggest competitor, Samsung. The iPhone 5 is selling well, despite overzealous analyst expectations. The company could, at some point in the not-too-distant future, be the world's first to be valued at one trillion dollars.
It can be easy to forget that Apple isn't perfect, but the high-flying company seems to be trying its best to remind us in the wake of its Maps fiasco.
Once again we round up six of the best infographics we've seen this week.
The topics include online travel bookers, Google Maps, opportunities for global e-commerce, a look at why infographics make such great marketing tools and a shameless evaluation of what you can learn from the Econsultancy blog.
Apple and Google may be arch rivals thanks to their competing mobile operating systems, iOS and Android, but the relationship between the two tech giants hasn't always been so rocky.
Case in point: since the iPhone's launch, Apple has used Google Maps to provide mapping in iOS.
Google has been fined £415,000 by a French court for offering Google Maps to businesses as a free service.
Bottin Cartographes successfully sued for the damages after claiming Google was abusing its dominant position and stifling competition against companies that charged for the service.
The Google Maps API is probably one of the most popular APIs out there, and it's not hard to understand why. There are countless applications to which mapping functionality can be applied.
For developers and businesses looking for powerful mapping functionality, the free Google Maps API has been a godsend. But earlier this year, Google announced that it would be implementing usage limits for the Maps API, and on Wednesday, it followed through.
Google may generate billions of dollars every year from AdWords, but that doesn't mean that it's idly sitting by and ignoring the monetization potential it has elsewhere in its network. One property with a lot of potential: Google Maps.
Given that potential, it's no surprise that Google is bringing its 'sponsored map icon' experimental ad format for Google Maps to the U.S. market.
Google Places. That's the new name of Google's Local Business Center. The search giant has rolled out a host of new features for local advertisers, including a mobile dimension that could help push QR codes into the mainstream.
They say sex sells. And UK retailer LoveHoney is, uhm, in the business of selling sex. In an effort to sell more of it, the company has come up with a simple yet clever way to make its sales data sexy.
LoveHoney's new UK Sex Map gives customers (and curious onlookers) the answer to a simple question: how sexy is my town?