Let Google photograph your business with Google Places

After yesterday's introduction of Google Places, a revamp and streamlining of the already successful Local Business Center, Google is taking the business search engine one step further. In a few select trial cities, Google will send out professional photographers to businesses who volunteer to take interior photographs of your business for display online. When you search for these businesses on Google Places, you'll get a professional look at the interior, including facilities, layout, and merchandise. The photographer will take photos of informational decoration as well, such as menu placards, or pricing information. This is all free to the business, and there is a site to sign up at if you happen to be in the 30 trial cities.

The goal of this project is to give customers an accurate look the interior of a business before they go. An example Google gives is if you want to go out to eat a romantic dinner, and you want to check out the ambiance before you decide. Or, if you want to see pictures of clothes inside a retailer instead of just browsing their online catalog. They say the service is directed towards restaurants, cafes, hotels, spas, other service industries, and retailers, but that any business is able to sign up.

Keep in mind, Google has always offered this functionality, for a user to upload pictures of a business to their Place Page, as part of the Local Business Center. This is an alternative service that allows a professional to come from Google to take the pictures, hopefully giving users an even more accurate preview of what to expect at your Place.

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16 Comments

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Other than retail and food...

Am I the only one thinking this would be ideal data for a terrorist or criminal to obtain? "Sure Mr. robber, here is a map of our building of exactly where our servers are at. And if you follow me down the hall, here we have 20 years of HR records full of SSN numbers."

Rohdekill said,
Other than retail and food...

Am I the only one thinking this would be ideal data for a terrorist or criminal to obtain? "Sure Mr. robber, here is a map of our building of exactly where our servers are at. And if you follow me down the hall, here we have 20 years of HR records full of SSN numbers."

I'm sure they will photograph the alarm and highlight the number combination while they are at it because they are so nice.

Doh! They are going to photograph only public-facing businesses - so if general public does not have access to the server room, Google won't have either.

Good job Google! You give burglars the free ability to case a joint, before robbing it. Nothing like giving a complete walk through to the bad guys. Makes it easier to rip off some place, without having to spend time looking in every nook & cranny for money or other valuables.

naap51stang said,
Good job Google! You give burglars the free ability to case a joint, before robbing it. Nothing like giving a complete walk through to the bad guys. Makes it easier to rip off some place, without having to spend time looking in every nook & cranny for money or other valuables.

Because burglars who "case joints" would definitely want to a) rob a place that would sign up for something like this and b) go off only the photos google posts? Do you think lots of people rob hotel guests because they can see the insides of rooms?

Thinking is hard.

naap51stang said,
Good job Google! You give burglars the free ability to case a joint, before robbing it. Nothing like giving a complete walk through to the bad guys. Makes it easier to rip off some place, without having to spend time looking in every nook & cranny for money or other valuables.

Do you actually believe Google Places is going to go inside businesses and photograph everything? Apparently you do since that's exactly what you said.

And speaking from experience, when preparing for a burglary, casing a joint is always done in person while the business is open. It's not done from a single photo of the front of a business.

SyntaxError said,

Do you actually believe Google Places is going to go inside businesses and photograph everything? Apparently you do since that's exactly what you said.

And speaking from experience, when preparing for a burglary, casing a joint is always done in person while the business is open. It's not done from a single photo of the front of a business.


Speaking from experience? Explain pls

When I see a close-up shot of the doorknobs on the front door, and some strange shots of the keypad on the alarm system, then I'll be worried.

I don't think a professional photograph of the clothes rack at your local boutique is going to be a big security concern

Edited by Tzvi Friedman, Apr 23 2010, 3:30pm :

Shadrack said,
But teh privacies!!! What's next, Google? What's next...

exactly my thought - now ppl will be able to "scout" a building without even going there & decide if it worth breaking into.

Minooch said,

exactly my thought - now ppl will be able to "scout" a building without even going there & decide if it worth breaking into.


indeed

Shadrack said,
But teh privacies!!! What's next, Google? What's next...

The 3 guys above me didn't read the part saying 'volunteering'.