Google snapping photos of Canberra businesses

emd 22 June 2010 8

This morning I was visited by a Google photograper who snapped photos of my fair trade baby shop – inside and out. No sign of wi-fi detection equipment. Not that I would care, if I had a wi-fi network I wouldn’t leave it open anyway. So what’s this all about?

Google business listings are being photographed to make their Google Maps listing more interesting – here’s Google’s info on the program. I can only assume that they’re doing this to position Google as the go-to place when you’re looking for local services and shops. This is certainly how it looks from the Google blog announcement about the project.

I think this is probably a good thing – and certainly the free service I got from Google has been much better than the expensive service I got from the Yellow Pages! It may also prompt an increase in work for freelance commercial photographers, as business owners may be more willing to have up-to-date photos taken to update their Google listing as their shopfront appearance changes.

The photographer said they’re doing Canberra and Sydney at the moment, but it’s such a large project that it probably won’t be complete til 2011.

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8 Responses to Google snapping photos of Canberra businesses
emd emd 3:30 pm 23 Jun 10

Oh hey astro, I didn’t see your comment earlier… what’s astro-child’s name so I can vote?
Yep, I’m missing the other two thirds shop space I used to have… but more than made up for in being surrounded by greenery, and much easier for parking and prams. So now my mission is to convert all those pram-pushers to babywearers >:)

emd emd 10:49 pm 22 Jun 10

The first I’d heard of the project was when they called me a few days ago and said they wanted to come take photos. I thought it sounded a bit strange – particularly given how much time they’re putting into it without charging for the service. But then again, they really don’t need permission to take a photo of a publicly accessible shopfront, so why should I say no? I didn’t request it – but was happy that they chose to do so.

The photographer said they’ve got something like 8 million to do in Sydney, so it will definitely take a long time. He also said they’re only doing the independent businesses, starting with ones that had already listed on Google Maps, and they won’t be covering shopping malls. Which means they really don’t have that much to cover in Canberra, given how mall-dominated our retail sector is.

I just had a thought… will they be taking photos inside some of the more interesting establishments in Fyshwick?

astrojax astrojax 9:27 pm 22 Jun 10

visited your new premises on sunday, emd. much loss of space in the move – how’s it going as a venture? still great stock, of course acquired a few items (and had astrochild beanie-snapped) good luck with the google view; of course we can all go copy your stock display now…


bd84 bd84 8:35 pm 22 Jun 10

damien haas said :

I understand these visits are arranged BY REQUEST from the business owner.

Indeed, the website indicates you need to apply and says the visits are scheduled. If you were visited randomly by this person taking photos I would be asking some serious questions about who they were and what they were doing.

damien haas damien haas 5:22 pm 22 Jun 10

I understand these visits are arranged BY REQUEST from the business owner.

dvaey dvaey 5:00 pm 22 Jun 10

The last visit of the streetview car to Canberra, was around November last year. Theres been no sign of these images from over 6 months ago online yet, so I suspect a target of 2011 actually means ‘late 2011 or early 2012, if we get around to it, when we finish the important cities like melb,syd,bris,etc’.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 4:08 pm 22 Jun 10

It will be interesting to see how the Google snappers go taking pics inside Canberra Centre, Westfield et al (if they plan to do so). Security guards in such places are usually pretty quick to “apprehend” anyone taking pics, haha.

Inappropriate Inappropriate 3:21 pm 22 Jun 10

The WiFi issue related to their Streetview cars, not the photographers.

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