Google Street View launches in Australia, giving marketers new engagement options
To see how Domain.com.au are using Google Maps Street View, read our related news story, Domain.com.au leads the charge for real estate companies using Google Maps Street View.
Google Australia today announced the launch of Street View for Australia. Street View is a new feature for Google Maps that enables users to view and navigate 360 degree street-level imagery of Australias cities, towns, regional and remote areas, in all eight States and Territories.
For Australian marketers, especially those in the tourism, real estate and hospitality industries, Google Street View is yet another potential touch point for customers with their products and services, and provides another opportunity for brands to represent themselves favourably to their target market.
By clicking on the Street View button in Google Maps, users can check out a restaurant before arriving, make travel plans, arrange meeting points, save time at open houses on Saturday morning, or just explore both well-known and isolated parts of the continent.
Andrew Foster, product manager at Google Australia, commented: Google Maps has its origins as an Australian invention so were thrilled to bring Street View here as one of the first countries in the world. A lot of remote and regional Australia is now available to explore virtually – Tom Price, Gundagai, Longreach, Esperance, and so much more. Street View will allow people to visit places in Australia they may not have had a chance to experience before.
Tourism Australia is already using the Street View service to showcase some of Australias best tourist attractions and locations to the world, a great example of how marketers can try to extend the experience for the consumer.
Tourism Australia managing director, Mr Geoff Buckley, said Travellers to Australia often have a high
awareness of Australia as a country but are interested in learning as
much as they can about us before they come. Our target market, who we
call Experience Seekers, are interested in connecting with our people,
lifestyle and environment and want to experience the best that a
destination has to offer. Street View will offer them a whole new way
to research Australia as a holiday destination and will help them plan
their trips by taking in-depth virtual tours – not only of our cities
but of many regional areas and places off the beaten track. Street
View is going to make Australia more accessible by giving people a
glimpse of what we have to offer and it will be just the start of the
journey of discovery.
Take a look at Tourism Australias image showcase – http://maps.google.com.au/help/maps/streetview/. Many other Australian organisations have already identified significant opportunities for Street View to be used in travel, tourism, house buying and renting, education and helping make small businesses easier to find.
To coincide with the launch, Google and the Sun Herald City2Surf today launched a flipbook video, which uses still images from Street View to create a video of the race route, taking place in Sydney on Sunday 10 August 2008. Watch the video below to see how this new tool from Google could be used in the future to allow users to follow a route or provide more specific directions.
Simon Dulhunty, editor of The Sun-Herald (city2surf.sunherald.com.au),
said With the help of Street View, this years Sun-Herald City2Surf
runners can take a virtual tour of the course before race day. Mapping
from Hyde Park to Heartbreak Hill to Bondi Beach, the flipbook video
will also allow spectators to find vantage points and give City2Surf
Charity Challenge supporters the opportunity to see what runners will
tackle on Sunday.
There are obvious ways in which real estate companies might be abvle to take advantage of the technology in Australia. Noel Dyett, president of the Real Estate Institute of Australia said Street View will save Australians time in the house buying or renting process, and will provide useful added information to inform their decisions. Street View enables consumers to plan and select the right properties to visit, and check out the location of nearby public transport, parks and facilities. Real estate agents will also welcome the ability to incorporate Street View on their websites to provide an additional resource for buyers and renters.