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Google Meets the Great British High Street

Submitted by anonymous on 14/10/2013

A Virtual Showcase for Bristol's Gloucester Road

Not only does Gloucester Road have the accolade of reputedly being home to the largest number of independent traders on one street in the UK, more than 20 of its businesses have now taken advantage of the latest Google technology to enable anyone in the world to be able to take a virtual visit to their premises. Internet users can experience a complete 360-degree online view of a variety of different shops and restaurants using the new Google Business Photo tours.

The latest extension to Google StreetView, Business Tours gives a panoramic view of the inside of properties, which is linked to the street outside. Better Reach, one of the biggest Google Trusted Agencies in the country, took a series of photographs inside Gloucester Road businesses this summer which they then stitched together, mapped and embedded directly into Google servers to produce the finished tours.

Vinyl, CD and DVD outlet, Prime Cuts Music Exchange, is one of the shops to have commissioned a tour, even finding a quirky way to get around the issue of not showing recognisable people on Google by overlaying the faces of customers and staff with those pictured on album sleeves.

"We send orders to many customers overseas," said Prime Cut's proprietor Michael Savage-Jones, "so it's great that everyone can now see for themselves exactly what the inside of our shop is like. We love the finished result - it's brilliant"

Stuart Edmonstone of Better Reach commented, "Having always enjoyed working with smaller individual businesses, to meet so much enthusiasm and creativity in one street was fantastic. From traditional sweets, Turkish bakeries, party shops and pizza parlours, to vinyl records and vintage goods, what better way to showcase the diverse mix of businesses that make up Gloucester Road to a wide-ranging audience"

As well as being available through Google maps search pages, businesses can also embed their tours into websites and share on social media.

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