Business Owners, you might be contacted in the near future by a representative from Google asking your permission to shoot pictures of the inside of your business to include in an eventual update of Google Maps' Street View.  The Street View feature of Google Maps allows you to take a virtual trip down streets for a 360 degree view of a city or landmark. 

Google photographers are currently combing major cities across the country and shooting the inside of retail businesses to provide a 360 view of the inside of that business.  The idea is to "walk" virtually down a sidewalk in Google Maps and virtually enter the door of a business and "walk" around as if you are literally in that business.

I have personally spoken to a Google photographer. He told me that in the future, Google Places will form a tighter integration with Google Maps to provide the consumer easier access to perform these virtual tours.

Now, the question is: "Should I allow Google to photograph the inside of my business?"

The answer is: "It all depends."

1.  Does your business rely on customer traffic at your brick and mortar business?
2.  What value would I gain for allowing a customer to virtually tour my business online?
3.  Are my competitors allowing Google to photograph panoramic views of their businesses?

Answering these, and many more questions will help you gain better insight into your future relationship with Google.

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