Google now lets us look inside stores ... yay?

Google Street Views are one of the coolest things the tech giant has ever come out with, in my opinion. Despite the slightly terrifying, really unsettling fact that cameras can pop up anytime anywhere, possibly taking photos of you, I think it's rad. It's the one piece of Big Brother-dom I accept with open arms. If I'm ever feeling nostalgic for my old apartment in Los Angeles, Google Street View. If I want to see exactly what an intersection in crazy New York City looks like, Google Street View. If I want to entertain my totally un-tech-savvy dad, Google Street View!

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But the new addition to GSV that goes inside businesses is cool, but ... really, totally unnecessary.

Businesses that have opted to participate in the Google Business Street View program are allowing their properties to be photographed with the Google Street View technology, which, amazingly, captures 360-degree panoramic shots. As of now, Google is only inviting small businesses like restaurants, hotels, shops, and gyms to participate in the Business Street View program. Big-brand chains, private residences, hospitals, and law offices are currently excluded from participation.

Now, this is really cool -- and it's probably great exposure for the participating business -- but I don't really get it. Don't all businesses have websites ... that have pictures? I mean, it's doubtful that they have 360-degree panoramic shots on their sites, but is that even necessary? It's fun to look at, but seeing the entire store is not going to stop or encourage me from going there. As long as the reviews are good, and it doesn't look like a dump in the gallery section of the website, I'm there.

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The only situation this would be helpful in is if a business doesn't have a website. Then it would allow the customer to take a peek inside, and the business to show what it's got. But, dude, it's 2011. Who doesn't have a website?

Do you see the point in Google's Business Street View?


Image via IvanWalsh.com/Flickr


Written by Nicole Fabian-Weber on CafeMom's blog, The Stir.

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