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Local businesses look to get Googled

Google photographer makes Capital District trip on unique side job

Jim Hilker is bringing the indoors out by photographing the interiors of businesses for Google. Google Business Photos is an extension of Google Maps and gives visitors the chance to see businesses without having to travel to them. Submitted photo.

Jim Hilker is bringing the indoors out by photographing the interiors of businesses for Google. Google Business Photos is an extension of Google Maps and gives visitors the chance to see businesses without having to travel to them. Submitted photo.

— “It’s there, and it’s there forever until the business owner requests that it’s removed at some point in the future,” said Hilker.

He recently shot the Olympic Regional Development Authority in Lake Placid. The authority’s Digital Marketing Director, Evan Spinosa said he was very pleased with the way Hilker and his crew worked to get them into Google Business Photos.

“It was great having him here,” said Spinosa. “It’s a great way to showcase your business.” There were three shoots over five days at the authority including the three ice rinks.

Hilker said that the work he does for Google is part time, though there is increasing demand.

“It’s quickly overtaking everything else,” he said.

Examples of the Google Business Photos are available at www.maps.google.com/businessphotos. There you’ll be able to use a click and drag method to get a virtual tour.

Aside from the U.S., the program is also being rolled out in England, New Zealand, Canada and Australia with countries being added every month. Hilker’s Albany venture is welcomed by Google, though the program is not open to the city as yet.

Hilker and his crew plan on visiting each area they go to up to three times a year. For information on the program, places.mobile or to register to have your business shot, visit www.streetviewindoors.com.

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