Anyone with a computer and 5 minutes of spare time has probably sat down to play with the Google Maps “Street View” application before. You’ve probably zoomed way into your own backyard, trying to catch a glimpse of yourself from a satellite. Maybe you’ve checked out your dealership from an aerial view, or looked up your old house to see if the new tenants have ruined everything. At ActivEngage, we can use Google Maps to instantly pinpoint a shopper’s location – and even look at the car they plan to trade in – in amazing, vivid detail.
Through Street View, you can travel like a pedestrian from your computer. You can take a few steps at a time up the road, and survey neighborhoods through the footage of Google’s high-definition cameras. But just showing us the populated, residential parts of America isn’t enough for the search engine company. Google is taking their cameras on an expedition to the beautiful, Internet-uncharted parts of the world, starting with the Grand Canyon.
Product Manager Ryan Falor writes that if the Google Trekker system can traverse the steep trails of the Grand Canyon, it can go anywhere. Wearing a 40-pound camera with 18 different lenses, Falor and the Google Team are mapping the ridges and valleys of the famed Canyon for later use by armchair travelers. This is the first step towards making a virtual walkthrough of the entire planet available on the Web.
Why is Google doing this? They aren’t stupid – they respect the gripping, compelling power of images on the web. They know that Internet users experience the world around them through images – and they want to build an image-based site that enshrines the world itself. You too, can be part of a visual revolution – by giving your inventory page life. Add colorful photos of your vehicles or panoramic shots of your lot. The customer eye will be drawn to it.
For more information on the power behind sharing images, subscribe to ActivEngage updates – we’re releasing an auto dealer’s guide to social images next month!