Google now integrating Streetview with your business listing

Streetview integrated with Business Listing in Maps
Google has announced in the Lat Long Blog that StreetView is now being associated with your Google Maps business listing in the info bubble.

The info bubble and pin remain in view as the user moves to StreetView, The pin is persistent even as the view “moves down the street” providing some context to the business location.

Previously one of one of your uploaded photos was placed in that position and presumably will continue to be so when a StreetView isn’t available. The feature has yet to roll out to the hinterlands even where StreetView is available.

The update is interesting and holds promise to improve a users understanding of the on the ground reality of the business they are searching for. It provides a glimpse of what a Google augmented reality might one day look like and indicates a growing confidence on Google’s part in the quality of their StreetView data. That being said, the devil here is in the details.

My experience with StreetView address geocoding has always been that it often resolves to a slightly different address than the underlying Google Map. This has the potential to create a certain disutility in Maps if the pin points to the wrong business location.

The photo realism of StreetView will imply to the user a certainty as to location that may not exist. For whatever reason, a pin on a Map is often perceived as a rough marker. A pin on a StreetView photo will be perceived as a totally accurate representation of reality even though the technology used doesn’t make that possible

This could potentially lead to end user confusion and disappointment with the product. More likely, it will lead to small business anger if it points to a nearby competitor.

Google has always chosen which photograph was presented of the business but at least the business was able to choose which photos to upload. Now though, unless Google allows adjustment in the Local Business Center, the business operator not only looses control it may not even point to their business.

Google will never able to quell SMB fears and resultant anger as the pressures they face are often overwhelming. Google though, needs to realize that offering control to them is the next best thing.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Google now integrating Streetview with your business listing by

18 thoughts on “Google now integrating Streetview with your business listing”

  1. I prefer Bing’s new bird’s eye feature to the street view. Your right, if a small businesses signs up for the Local Business Center they should be able to align there own street view.

  2. Google could embrace and encourage small businesses via the LBC in a number of ways. A change in the apprarent trust level might alleviate some of the growing frustration with Google Maps by smbs. This fellow apparently is under threat of arrest for acting out his frustrations on Google premises,.

  3. The short answer not really. They don’t need to and until they do to generate more returns they won’t

  4. Interesting move…I can see that the only positive side of this is if someone is using bum address in the middle of a dead spot, it will be a bit off. The Street View Photo will probably cut down ctr or at least have a few people more able to report a bad listing.

    But, let’s face it…that is very small scale compared to the thousands of mis-mapped pictures that would be a never ending complaint from SMB’s.

    I like that you can drag the pin point (on the map) when you are claiming your business. I built a new house and the road isn’t on the map. I was able to put it as close as possible. For street view, that would definitely be the best option.

    Or a checkbox that would turn the feature on/off in the LBC. That might save them having to call the cops from angry dojo masters…

  5. Thanks for the tips….what happens for the guys running a business out of the parking lot? lol. Never could understand why businesses don’t have an accurate photo up and running for themselves

  6. @Keonda

    Yes its a mixed bag but demonstrates why the business needs to carefully place the pin on his/her Map in the LBC. I think Coogle should add a Streetview interface to the LBC to facilitate it.

  7. Oh my gosh, that story about the martial arts business owner was mind-blowing, Mike. Why in heck did they threaten to arrest him? It sounds like he burst into a KGB office throwing karate punches or something…not that he went to visit Google to ask for help with the misrepresentation of his business. Yikes. That’s the weirdest story I’ve heard in awhile, and then the Google employee has responded that Google ‘hears’ him. How about apologizing for sending the cops after him. Geez!

  8. I like it – this will allow people to actually know what your building looks like when they arrive at the location.

  9. @Miriam

    He may have just done that. He was pretty upset. Great article, I have tweeted it.

    @Alice Bing has some very nice virtual mapping features. Until they garner market share though it won’t much matter.

    @Stu

    What you say is true IF the business owner takes the time to properly position the pin first.

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