Over the last few years, have you ever spotted a Subaru Impreza outfitted in Google Maps wallpaper and a ladybug-like camera rounded atop a robot antenna? Well, that really was Google and they really were making maps.
Google has been creating its Street View technology for years and has expanded to all seven continents. Now, they’ve launched the interactive project as a promotional tool for businesses who want to be virtually accessible through Google Maps. Once a tool to see the world is now also a first-hand look into local city life.
Guess who is one of its latest clients ? Syracuse.
The new 360 Virtual Downtown Tour, made in part by the Downtown Committee, brings the clarity, color and character of our downtown to the world. Downtown Committee is the first downtown association in New York State to launch this technology.
What’s great about this piece of technology is that it gives you immediate insight into the feel of the city. Imagine if every city in the world (a bit hyperbolic, I know) made their own virtual downtown tour. Wanderlust-filled coach potatoes could explore the planet all day long without moving a muscle. But that’s not the point. With this tour, you not only learn the layout of a town, you get a peek into its architectural personality, the values of a city from a bird’s eye view, and its economic interests.
So far, other Central New York cities haven’t implemented the Street View technology specifically to detailing downtowns. But, some locals are taking the task of virtually documenting the city, its history and its business-side into their own hands.
Rochester photographer and Google Business View partner Mark Goho has released two major projects on Google Maps. One features the graffiti-garnished, abandoned Rochester subway and the other is an ongoing study of Rochester city parks. To understand the impressive scope of skill it takes to create one of these tours, you must see his work.
Check out more projects he’s doing for 360BusinessTours here.
The same thing (albeit a little less cool) is going on with businesses in Albany, Syracuse (obviously) and Buffalo. You can virtually experience what’s going on in these cities from across the state. Visit here to find a Google Trusted photographer or business near you.
Trust me, zooming through Street View is slightly addicting. It’s unbelievable crisp and clear – a treat for the eyes, if you will. It looks and feels like you’re warping through space and time… which you kind of are. I can’t wait to see what Street View can do in the future. Thank you, technology. Hello forgotten New York!