The Newton-Needham Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Google to feature photos of local businesses in a new initiative where GoogleMaps users can take a virtual walk through participating brick-and-mortar shops.
The "Google Street View Indoors" will allow users to see inside the business, travel 360 degrees from multiple points inside the shop, and also zoom in on products, displays, signs, decor, and ambiance, according to a statement from the chamber released Monday.
The Newton-Needham chamber is the first in Massachusetts to partner with Google for the program, said chamber president Greg Reibman in the statement.
“We see Street View Indoors as yet another way to promote shopping locally, dining locally and banking locally,” Reibman said. “We’re pleased to be the first chamber in the state that is partnering with Google on this opportunity to let consumers look inside our many fantastic businesses.”
Google allows businesses to feature up to 1,000 360-degree views to the program for a fee: it costs a business $100 for each of the first three viewpoints, and $50 for the next 12 after that. Any images added after the first 15 cost $30 each.
Chamber members are eligible for 10 percent discount; non-chamber members, who join the organization at the same time they sign up for the Google feature, are eligible for a 15 percent discount.
The images will be taken by a Google photographer, according to the chamber.
For a sample of how the new Google imaging feature works, click here.