IBJNews

Google unveils biz photo service in Indianapolis

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Thinking about having dinner at St. Elmo Steak House in downtown Indianapolis?

Now you can take a virtual tour of the iconic restaurant without leaving the comfort of your own home, thanks to a new service Google made available in Indianapolis on Tuesday.

The online search giant launched its Business Photos service in April 2010, but it’s been limited to larger cities such as Chicago and New York. Within the past five months Google also rolled out the service in Atlanta, Baltimore and Cincinnati, as well as internationally.

For St. Elmo, Google’s Business Photos was an easy sell, said Bryn Jones, the restaurant’s director of marketing.

“It literally lets people inside your business without having to go there,” he said. “For us, there may be an event planner in California that we can show a 360-[degree] view of one of our meeting rooms.”

Contracted photographers took more than 300 photos of St. Elmo’s interior, which spans three separate buildings, to provide a fluid tour of the eatery.

Anyone who enters the St. Elmo name into Google can take the tour by clicking on a “see inside” tab next to the restaurant’s listing on the search results. St. Elmo also has uploaded the tour onto its Facebook page and will have it available on its website within the next few weeks, Jones said.

The cost of the service starts at $300. St. Elmo paid $700, plus another $800 to include its downtown and north-side locations of sister restaurant Harry & Izzy’s.

Indianapolis resident Cassandra Salimeno and her husband Damian are two of four independent photographers in Indiana that have completed Google’s certification process to shoot the virtual tours on a contract basis.

They’ve completed about two dozen jobs in the Indianapolis area, including photo shoots for Cigar Haven in Fishers, Grapevine Cottage in Zionsville and Fishers, and for the Evan Lurie and Eye On Art galleries in Carmel.

“The hardest part is explaining to people something they haven’t seen or heard [of] before,” Cassandra Salimeno said.

Google lists about 100 photographers in the United States who are certified to take business photos.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Google Business Photos Is Growing Fast
    Since this article, we have shot Google Tours for nearly 100 Indy businesses! Most of our clients have said, "It's already paid for itself". We hope to put all Indianapolis Businesses On The Map! Just Google, TourTheMap.Com
  • Get food stamps
    Food stamps are cheaper than eating out. If I knew what restaurant you were I would never eat there. You probably cut out pest control service too.
  • Great deal from a Google certified photographer
    The price didn't seem high at all - I think it's a down right great deal! I've seen panoramic virtual tours start at $4800.00 plus you have to pay for their travel fee - we had them come out to our business and we were more than satisfied with their expertise, their professionalism, and the fact they deliver EXACTLY as they promise - no fancy sales promises and no high pressure sales TACTICS - as a business owner i don't suffer that kind of nonsense. I want my investment to have a return and this definitely does. By being on a Google platform that has ties to a satelite location it builds trust to the consumer that you are not some fly-by-night company and that you have a business that is committed to their customers.
  • A reasonably priced service
    I'm one of the Google Trusted photographers in Indiana. In response to the last comment made, the Google virtual tours can be embedded on websites and social media pages, like Facebook and the viewer can experience the tour w/o having to leave those pages. In addition, when the business embeds the tour, they can pick the point at which they want the tour to start. This can change as many times as they would like and can be embedded multiple times, too. As far as pricing being high, I have to say a comment like that surprises me. I have done research and found that similar tours w/o Google as the host, can cost thousands of dollars. Matter of fact, the going rate is $200 per panoramic photo. We have been charging around $30 per panoramic photo. Keep in mind our cost as a photographer, too. We have taxes to pay, healthcare, overhead, legal fees, accountant fees, equipment costs, gas, mileage, marketing, and a lot of other costs, including our time. We too, are just another small Indiana business providing a great service to other Indiana businesses. I encourage all business owners who are interested in learning more, to research it. On Google's site, they have all the Trusted Photographers listed with their websites. You can see, we're fair market value maybe even slightly under. We also encourage you to contact a business who has had this done, we haven't had any negative reviews about their tours or us.
  • Priced Highly
    My first concern was that the price seemed high ($1500 for three locations). My company will provide fantastic panoramic virtual tours with much more interactivity for less. Then, I wondered, "Who owns the tours when they're completed?" With us, the client owns the tour, and can disseminate it however they choose. Plus, visitors can view the tour without ever leaving the client's site, according to the client's wishes. Actually, sounds like another winner...for Google. (This is not intended to be an advertisement, but a broader view of the virtual tour market.)
    • Don't Be Underwhelmed
      By using Google Business Photos, businesses can easily embed tours on websites and Facebook without special plug-ins and costly monthly fees, making it very different from other sites and firms. Additionally, these interactive tours are not only integrated on Google Maps, but they are also integrated on the business's Local Plus Pages, Google Search Results and other Google Properties.
    • Underwhelmed
      Other than the fact this has the Google name attached to it, how is this different from the technology that hotel and real estate sites and architecture firms have been using for several years? It's cool technology, but it's not new.

      Post a comment to this story

      COMMENTS POLICY
      We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
       
      You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
       
      Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
       
      No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
       
      We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
       

      Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

      Sponsored by
      ADVERTISEMENT

      facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

      Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
      Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
       
      Subscribe to IBJ
      1. Apologies for the wall of text. I promise I had this nicely formatted in paragraphs in Notepad before pasting here.

      2. I believe that is incorrect Sir, the people's tax-dollars are NOT paying for the companies investment. Without the tax-break the company would be paying an ADDITIONAL $11.1 million in taxes ON TOP of their $22.5 Million investment (Building + IT), for a total of $33.6M or a 50% tax rate. Also, the article does not specify what the total taxes were BEFORE the break. Usually such a corporate tax-break is a 'discount' not a 100% wavier of tax obligations. For sake of example lets say the original taxes added up to $30M over 10 years. $12.5M, New Building $10.0M, IT infrastructure $30.0M, Total Taxes (Example Number) == $52.5M ININ's Cost - $1.8M /10 years, Tax Break (Building) - $0.75M /10 years, Tax Break (IT Infrastructure) - $8.6M /2 years, Tax Breaks (against Hiring Commitment: 430 new jobs /2 years) == 11.5M Possible tax breaks. ININ TOTAL COST: $41M Even if you assume a 100% break, change the '30.0M' to '11.5M' and you can see the Company will be paying a minimum of $22.5, out-of-pocket for their capital-investment - NOT the tax-payers. Also note, much of this money is being spent locally in Indiana and it is creating 430 jobs in your city. I admit I'm a little unclear which tax-breaks are allocated to exactly which expenses. Clearly this is all oversimplified but I think we have both made our points! :) Sorry for the long post.

      3. Clearly, there is a lack of a basic understanding of economics. It is not up to the company to decide what to pay its workers. If companies were able to decide how much to pay their workers then why wouldn't they pay everyone minimum wage? Why choose to pay $10 or $14 when they could pay $7? The answer is that companies DO NOT decide how much to pay workers. It is the market that dictates what a worker is worth and how much they should get paid. If Lowe's chooses to pay a call center worker $7 an hour it will not be able to hire anyone for the job, because all those people will work for someone else paying the market rate of $10-$14 an hour. This forces Lowes to pay its workers that much. Not because it wants to pay them that much out of the goodness of their heart, but because it has to pay them that much in order to stay competitive and attract good workers.

      4. GOOD DAY to you I am Mr Howell Henry, a Reputable, Legitimate & an accredited money Lender. I loan money out to individuals in need of financial assistance. Do you have a bad credit or are you in need of money to pay bills? i want to use this medium to inform you that i render reliable beneficiary assistance as I'll be glad to offer you a loan at 2% interest rate to reliable individuals. Services Rendered include: *Refinance *Home Improvement *Inventor Loans *Auto Loans *Debt Consolidation *Horse Loans *Line of Credit *Second Mortgage *Business Loans *Personal Loans *International Loans. Please write back if interested. Upon Response, you'll be mailed a Loan application form to fill. (No social security and no credit check, 100% Guaranteed!) I Look forward permitting me to be of service to you. You can contact me via e-mail howellhenryloanfirm@gmail.com Yours Sincerely MR Howell Henry(MD)

      5. It is sad to see these races not have a full attendance. The Indy Car races are so much more exciting than Nascar. It seems to me the commenters here are still a little upset with Tony George from a move he made 20 years ago. It was his decision to make, not yours. He lost his position over it. But I believe the problem in all pro sports is the escalating price of admission. In todays economy, people have to pay much more for food and gas. The average fan cannot attend many events anymore. It's gotten priced out of most peoples budgets.

      ADVERTISEMENT